From Emily Cooper – portraiture artist and blueprint100 Intern
Earlier this month a group of intrepid Blueprint Members undertook an expedition to the frozen rain-soaked streets of Edinburgh in search of inspiration. Following an excited minibus journey we arrived at our first destination.
Jupiter Art Land, a few miles outside of Edinburgh, hosts a vast array of large scale art pieces and indoor gallery exhibitions the first of which was the colourful and charming work Myth Cart by Hayley Tompkins, whose work did it’s best to brighten our spirits with its vivid display.
Soon though it was time to brave the weather and explore the grounds. We came across works from classical style structures such as Ian Hamilton Finley’s Temple of Apollo and Xth Muse, to the psychedelic Love Bomb by Marc Quinn.
Particular favourites of the group were Weeping Girls by Laura Ford and Landscape with Gun and Tree by Cornelia Parker.
Another thought provoking installation was In Memory by Nathan Coley a piece in which tall concrete walls surround a replica graveyard of apparently reclaimed gravestones.
All in all, despite the less than ideal weather conditions Jupiter Art Land proved to be a valuable and inspirational experience and certainly got our creative juices flowing and after something to warm us through in the onsite café it was time to head into Edinburgh and find our home for the night. The world’s first shipping container hotel! Some were excited…others were not.
As we pulled up into a slightly worse for wear, overgrown car park and were faced with the drab, grey corrugated iron walls, hearts began to sink and trepidation became rampant, however after hesitantly pushing open the gates, relief reigned supreme and what followed was a great night’s sleep in a warms comfy beds surrounded by friendly, colourful people. Our only regret was that we only had one night to stay.
The following day began (somewhat late, after some difficulty navigating through the excessive crowds of fringe-time Edinburgh) with a trip to the pop up Arts Festival Hub to view the exhibition Platform followed by a guided tour of some other points off interest as part of the festival including the fountain of youth, created with the help of local school children!
The rest if the day was free time to spend in whichever culturally education way we saw fit, for some that meant visiting the National Museum and exploring the various exhibits on offer whilst one group visited the National Portrait Gallery and experienced an impressive collection of self-portraits ranging from Matisse to Rembrandt.
Art viewed, feet drenched and overpriced coffee consumed to excess, it was time for us to head home. A much quieter bus journey followed, interrupted only by the odd snore from the bus full of sleeping creatives. Thanks for having us Edinburgh, you were great…if a little exhausting!