When you live in the UK and you have one sunny day, you tend to spend most of it outdoors (unless it is a workday and you are enjoying some sunshine from the office). Summer is the obvious time for everyone to travel outside of the country, explore, embark on adventures and spend some time relaxing. I have just gotten back from a two-week road trip in California and that was an absolutely incredible experience – something certainly to discuss in another article. Summer is also a very important season for the arts with Edinburgh Art Festival and Fringe both taking place in August.

Last weekend Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos opened Jupiter Artland‘s latest permanent commission, Gateway, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. Gateway is a product of a three-year collaboration between Joana Vasconcelos, an internationally acclaimed artist who exhibited at 2005 edition of the Venice Biennial, and architects and engineers from Portugal and Scotland. This collaboration transformed the artist’s famous colorful designs into a fully functional 9-meter swimming pool and created a spiritual artistic space in the gardens of Bonnington House just outside of Edinburgh. Gateway is a one-of-a-kind art installation with the design of each tile incorporating both traditional and cutting-edge technologies (11,366 tiles were hand-painted).

'Gateway' by JoanaVasconcelos(2019). Image by Allan Pollok-Morris. Courtesy Jupiter Artland
‘Gateway’ by Joana Vasconcelos (2019).
Image by Allan Pollok-Morris. Courtesy Jupiter Artland.

The location, Bonnington House, has its own spiritual significance as well. It is believed that it sits at a point where leylines intersect; leylines are invisible lines that connect most spiritual sites in the world. The artist, therefore, created a site to contemplate and participate with.

And the best part is you can participate in public bathing sessions where you can interact with this art installation as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. (Please sign me up!)

‘Gateway is a big splash that invites the public to immerse in a joyful and spirited dimension, leading to a connection with the energy of the Earth. Its like a threshold to another universe that were not conscious of but through which we can flow.

– Joana Vasconcelos

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