architecture, church, Folly, garden, garden history, landscape, Scotland, structure, West Lothian

The Rose Walk, Jupiter Artland, near Wilkieston, West Lothian

As summer turned to autumn The Folly Flâneuse was reminded of a jolly jaunt to Jupiter Artland, a sculpture garden just outside Edinburgh, on a glorious day a year ago. A highlight was Pablo Bronstein’s Rose Walk, a pair of pavilions terminating a 25 metre long rose garden, their white-painted tracery magnificent against a clear blue sky. 

The Chinoiserie Pavilion
The Gothic Pavilion

The Rose Walk was commissioned by Jupiter Artland in 2017. The pavilions, described as ‘imposing and elaborate follies’, lead the visitor into a small rose garden, which is enclosed by the trelliswork fences which link the two kiosks. Light streams in through the seemingly fragile, but actually incredibly solid, structure, and the standard roses are clearly very content.

Leaving the Chinese pavilion and heading towards the Gothic is like walking down the aisle of a church, and the Folly Flâneuse was soon humming the Bridal Chorus. The airy structure also reminded her of Sir James Hall’s Willow Cathedral. Hall’s theory, first published in 1797, was that early gothic architecture sought unconsciously to emulate the natural shapes of nature – the straights and curves of trunks, boughs and twigs becoming the columns, arches and tracery of the gothic. Bronstein’s site-specific Rose Walk likewise unites architecture and nature.

The Willow Cathedral, frontispiece to the 1813 edition of Hall’s Essay on the origin, history and principles of Gothic architecture, an expanded version of a lecture first published in 1797. Courtesy of a private collection.

The gardens and parkland of Jupiter Artland surround the private home of founders Robert and Nicky Wilson, and are also home to sculptures and pavilions by artists including Antony Gormley, Anya Gallacio and Ian Hamilton Finlay, as well as a wonderful sweeping landform by the late Charles Jencks.

Pablo Bronstein, an Argentinian artist now based in London, works in a number of genres, but almost always with architecture as an influence. In 2014 he created a ‘monument to architecture’ for the Folkestone Triennial. His Beach Hut in the Style of Nicholas Hawksmoor pays homage to the great baroque architect, whose style was echoed in the design of the now lost monumental lighthouses which once stood on the south coast.

Pablo Bronstein, ‘Beach Hut In The Style of Nicholas Hawksmoor’ (2014) in Folkestone. Photo’ courtesy of Folkestone Triennial.

The convivial visit to Jupiter Artland was organised by The Folly Fellowship, which exists to protect, preserve, and promote follies, grottoes, and garden buildings

Right now, we all need something to look forward to, so put Jupiter Artland in your diary for 2021

The 2020 Folkestone Triennial has been postponed until 2021, so something else to dream of


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6 thoughts on “The Rose Walk, Jupiter Artland, near Wilkieston, West Lothian”

  1. Gand says:

    Well done. That brought back some good memories of only a year ago. It seems like a different world in this current climate. After 2 days of glorious sunshine in Scotland the rain came down for the following days FF visit, l recall.

    1. Editor says:

      It was indeed a great day and as you say, rather a contrast to the torrential rain at Little Sparta. Looking forward to the days when we can once again have such convivial days out

  2. Julia Abel Smith says:

    Fascinating. What a delightful place and the cloudless sky on the day of your visit is a perfect foil for the delicate white tracery.

    The Gothic Pavilion is reminiscent of The Museum at Enville.

    1. Editor says:

      Hello Julia. Yes, the weather was perfect. I hadn’t thought of the resemblance to the Museum, thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Christine U says:

    This looks great. Definitely now on my must-see list. Especial thanks for these posts during this crazy year – a chance to dream and escape

    1. Editor says:

      Keep safe and well Christine and keep adding to the list of wonderful things to enjoy as soon as we all can. Thanks for commenting.

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