Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh
Set in the one hundred acre grounds, the artwork trail starts in the stable yard of the steadings where a shop, café and indoor gallery begin your experience. Out of the back door, the trail leads off into woodland where clearings feature remarkable works of art by well-known artists. We thoroughly enjoyed our two hour meander around the grounds and certainly recommend a visit.
The question is – does that environment offer what bereaved families seek from a natural burial ground? The answer is - no. The artistic richness certainly appeals, but the levels of activity by visiting families, groundsmen and staff are off-putting. The feedback we get most consistently says that people enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings at our natural burial grounds. They are places of escape from the hurly burly of everyday life.
What lessons can we learn from our visit? I think that art and sculpture can enrich the experience of a place, but that must not detract from its natural beauty. A sculpture trail and parkland needs paying visitors for economic sustainability, but at the cost of peacefulness. The mood of a burial ground is different from a visitor destination, and the mix wouldn’t work.