Monday, 14 June 2010

(28) Jupiter Artland

Our Zuiganji is Jupiter Artland.

28 Apollo–St Just
Ken Cockburn, 2010

By Name

by the number 27 bus

Basho’s Oku is a string of nadokoro (‘places of name’): “a narrow road drawing a line across the map marked by place-names” (Miner). The journey’s title recalls the mountain paths of Michinoku. Many of Basho’s hokku grow from name:

before-pissing barrier

what with fleas and lice
the horse’s having a piss
right at the pillow

Other names are unpacked to reveal something hidden:



And some names are so refulgent as to be themselves a poem:

Matsushina ya
ay Matsushima ya
Matsushima ya

Beàrnaraigh –
aye Beàrnaraigh
Beàrnaraigh aye

Matsushima (found postcard)

Sometimes names come from – and sometimes they gather to them – bundled associations, Rest-and-be-Thankful, Smaa Glen, Cockbridge-to-Tomintoul.

A new name may be the foundation for a vision. Little Sparta is the territory IHF’s vision defined retrospectively, a decade after he and Sue began the garden at Stonypath. The name is supplementary, an act of redefining, not overwriting: the balance of the landscape and its meaning depends on the doubling of identity.

Territory is named inscription: a mental diagram of the relation of place, person and world. Naming is an instruction, sometimes lower-case practical, stony + path, sometimes Capital and insurrectionary, Little + Spartan. When Ailie and I were children we naturally named the fields around Stonypath, by their elements, The Quarry Field, The Roller Field. Further off were The Burn and The Spring.

28 Bonnington House
Ken Cockburn, 2010

The Jacobean landscape of Bonnington House was reinscribed by Robert & Nicky Wilson: Jupiter Artland. Here, in Year 7 of their project, family, home, woodland and park are overlayed with art.

it’s not that there
should be more here

or less
but that it balances

The horizon bears the lode of pink conical shale bings. I can remember how in the 1970s there would be regular debates on Reporting Scotland about what should be done to remedy these industrial eyesores. Now the bings are dotted with a fringe of green and defined as islands of biodiversity, supporting rare alpines, clubmoss, tall melilot, wintergreen, lichens, mosses and orchids. Nature is relentless with waste. The bings ecological renewal was predicted by John Latham in his visionary Niddrie Woman (1976), a post-archaeological act of naming that reimagined the derelict bings – Greendykes, Faucheldean, Niddry, and the great Westwood bing, ‘Five Sisters’ – as a matriarchal Lothian earth goddess. Revealed from the air, this found land art monument was made by name.

28 wishes (Copper Beech)
Alec Finlay, 2010

…most of the wind happens
where there are tree

– Paul Muldoon

I visited Jupiter before the journey proper began, spending a week in the stable flat, with its stove and shelf of little soaps lined up like days of the week. Everyday I took a walk to the far end of the wood, tying a wish on the copper beech.

28 Coriolis versicolour
Alec Finlay, 2010

colourful Coriolis ears
though the agents
are never stable

this little versicolour
ripples bands of blue
and mussel purple

The view north-east, through Gormley’s Firmament, showed the iron bridge we would cross on our trip to the two Lomonds, East and West Pap, and between them, the hidden orchard at Falkland, where Sonia’s apples were coming into bloom.

Nearer to Jupiter, plantswoman Maxine taught me the view over Crawsfield to James I hunting Lodge at Illieston, on the banks of the Almond, where someday she will sew a brocade of flowers.

6 years on
the gean for the lop
is bright with blossom


28 hokku-label | temple
Alec Finlay, 2010

One of the tasks our Basho journey set Ken and I was to find contemporary pairings for the temples that he visisted – from the ancient ‘barp’ at Langais, to the newly constructed outlook tower of Outlandia, Glen Nevis.

Here in their Artland the Wilson’s have erected a remarkable array of secular temples, for us to pair with Zuiganji:

Goldsworthy’s hall of rock
it’s only fault the crooked floor

IHF’s Apollo–St Just temple
and Sappho islanded in exile

Jencks’ grass curves
where adults walk inspirally
looping around each other

Kapoor’s Albert & The Lion
rusty void

Coley’s graves, the only thing
bare of names

Cornelia “double-barrel” Parker’s
startling shotgun

The seventh temple is the most beautiful: the wood, which runs from the entrance, where wood and rock wrestle in Goldsworthy’s coppice, and on to the Milkmaid’s Field.

you choose
to cling to the trunk

or climb branch
over branch

28 Fauna | Even Dogs...
Alec Finlay, 2010



At Zuiganji Basho wondered if the temple at Kenbutsu Hijiri might also be seen. At Bonnington I promised myself a trip back to walk up Tormain Hill, where cup and ring marked rocks define a geomantic ley line – described by Martin (Modern Antiquarian): “ the most amazing view of Edinburgh – I laughed! In a perfect row stood Corstorphine Hill, Berwick Law, Arthurs Seat, Traprain Law and the Braids Hills. What an amazing ancient skyline! What a place – 360 degree views all around the Lothians, Fife and beyond.”. The rocks pair with Ungo Zenji’s meditation stone, the Zazenseki, where he sat in meditation on his little pinewood island. Robert explained how the leys run from Tormain to Cairnpapple, Rosslyn and Schiehallion.

Le Weekend

Ken and I drank a dram of Glenkinchie (from Pencaitland, just over the Pentlands), with Robert & Nicky Wilson, exhausted from the new Summer season opening party.

Glenmorangie it turns out
bottled just over the hill

Ken sat on a tree-stump watching the spring leaves playing the wind, versifying the Parkland, from the elevation of Jencks spiral mound.

dandelions and mushrooms
colonise the Life Mounds

a hoodie flies lazily
from one quadrant to the next

stop running Tom!
Tom stops running
Tom is about to start running

in the middle of their paddock
all the donkeys
flat out in the sun

black budded of Queen of Night
needs more spring sun to open
winter shadow



Jupiter Artland is a contemporary sculpture garden in the ground sof Bonnington House, near Edinburgh. For details of your visit see:
(55°54'3.09"N) (3°25'16.17"W)

the road north is a journey that will conclude in 53 audio | visual word-maps: poems describing different locations, typeset in the form of skylines and other natural features, accompanied by recordings in a variety of voices. The poetic mapping of Scotland will be available from May 16, 2011. In the meantime, visit the website of our recently completed word-map for the Peak District National Park, white peak | dark peak.

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