The outdoor exhibitions programme at Jupiter Artland has been running since the West Lothian sculpture park reopened in late May to help vary the daily exercise needs of locals, but now the indoor galleries are open too in a rather joyous homage to the American artist Allan Kaprow (1927-2006), many of whose works – happenings or activations created by volunteers – are reinvented here for the summer.

Artists involved include Andrea Büttner (whose work – swapping jobs with her two year old – will appear later in the summer), James Hoff, Peter Liversidge, Cinzia Mutigli, Jupiter’s ORBIT Youth Council and the Wilson family, owners of Jupiter, themselves. In the courtyard, Saoirse Amira Anis’ “We can still dance”, a powerful work commissioned as part of the Black Lives Matter Scottish Mural Trail.

“The exhibition would have been markedly different, more institutional perhaps, if the lockdown hadn’t happened,” says curator Claire Feeley. Liversidge had been going to concentrate on Brexit, but Covid changed that.

And yet it has all come together remarkably well, and a testament to the unique working conditions in which the artists found themselves in these last few months.

Feeley tells me that Kaprow taught throughout his career, “and most of what we consider his artworks were mainly done with students. The main thing he was interested in was giving a simple set of instructions, which could remain as ideas or proposals, and seem at face value simple and succinct, but then the real world hits, and when people try to follow his instructions, the problems of organisation are part of the piece. The only people who experience the happenings are the people making them themselves!”

Kaprow had been allowing other artists to reinvent his work since relatively early in his career, and these are the latest reincarnations.

The first artwork greets you at the entrance gate, or more accurately smothers it, a barrage of Thank Yous painted by Wilsons during lockdown at the behest of Peter Liversidge. Liversidge has reworked Allan Kaprow’s Out/Exit piece, originally created by Kaprow for Edinburgh in 1963. The signs, brightly painted, make the entrance look like a maximised incarnation of the thank yous and rainbows placed in windows around the country over the last few months. The Wilsons have also recreated the artist’s Yard (1961), blocking off their own driveway with a wall of used tyres.

Liversidge, with his “Proposals”, many of which are never carried out, is a fine fit for Kaprow, who suggested ‘happenings’ in similar vein. His ideas were off-centre, humorous, an interruption of daily life, call it what you will. In the Steadings gallery, the upper level has been cordoned off for a sign painter in Liversidge’s reinvention of Kaprow’s only UK happening. There is a book provided, from which you can pick a legend to be painted on a cardboard sign to take away – a donation is suggested.

The phrases are all taken from the words of students from around the country, part of Jupiter’s Youth Council, whom Liversidge spoke with prior to and during lockdown, to listen to their thoughts and concerns. From “Does the hawk see us too?” to “The sound of the wind in the pines”, each phrase a skein of a life that thought it during lockdown, a human concern, packed in amongst many.

Upstairs in the Tin Roof Gallery, Cinzia Mutigli has created a piece that takes its inspiration from Sweet Wall, Kaprow’s 1970 “political parody”, as he called it, in which he built a concrete wall, joined together with slabs of bread and jam, on a piece of wasteland near the Berlin Wall.

Mutigli’s work, which comes closest, as Feeley points out, to fulfilling the idea of a reinvention, deals in sugar and postcolonial identity, the film an overload of words and ideas and patterns repeated over and over, sledgehammer-like, as the viewer sits and watches in the repeat-pattern wallpapered room, whilst munching Mutigli’s homemade jam sandwiches.

It’s an overwhelming piece, and one which is very personal, in that lockdown has made this film largely of the artist, the narrative a mix of personal experience and “expert” analysis, each filtering in and out of comprehensibility.

In the Ballroom Gallery, James Hoff, based in New York, has used a short recording made by Kaprow on how to make a happening, broadcast it to a number of radios and made up thousands of copies of original posters Kaprow made to advertise his happenings, for visitors to take away free.

They are also available in art bookshops across Scotland (free) for those who cannot travel to Jupiter. Incidentally, Mutigli’s film is also available online, the artist aware of that same constraint, that some still cannot travel, or do not wish to.

Summer Exhibitions Programme, Jupiter Artland, Wilkieston Steadings, Wilkieston, West Lothian,, 01506 889900, 10am - 5pm daily, Entry to Jupiter Artland via prebooked timeslots, Adults £9, Children 4+ £5, Concessions available.


The use of plastics in our world has become an urgent concern, not least in our current situation where the sight of single-use face-masks littering the street, floating down waterways, even hanging in a tree, is now a common one, as endemic as the littering of dog poo bags.

This exhibition, which opened in January and shut for the lockdown shortly thereafter, is a wonderful examination of the function, forms and tyrannies of plastic, through an artistic and botanical lens – both fascinating and beautiful, from Lorna Fraser’s fantastical plastic forms in perspex boxes, to Fiona Hutchison’s woven plastic skeins. There is the work of RBGE taxonomist Dr Peter Wilkie, on natural plastic from the tropical tree family, Sapotaceae, and Carla Edwards’ Miscellany, a series of forms made from gutta percha, an early “natural plastic”. Lorna Wilson’s beautiful Lichen Wall (2019) is an homage to clean air lichens made – ironically and deliberately – from recycled fridges, whilst Carol Sinclair’s floating mobile, made from different plastics, is an investigation into the use and reuse of recyclable plastics. There are also “green plastics” created by the University of Edinburgh – a nascent area of research – used by artists in the exhibition.

What emerges, amongst many things, is that plastic is more valuable than our throwaway culture deems it, but only if it is seen as a reuseable resource (should the recycling itself be environmentally sustainable). The paradox of the whole is seen in Lorna Fraser’s Parasol Fungi, pictured, glass-like, made from recycled water bottles, which reflect that same air of beauty and menace found in the curious forms of nature, and in the nature of the manmade material which has been used to create these strange, delicate forms.

Think Plastic: Materials and Making, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, John Hope Gateway, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, 0131 248 2909, Until 1 Nov, Daily, 10am-5pm


Created entirely during lockdown, An Lanntair’s inspired Sketchbook Project has been created with 100 of the island’s residents, all of whom were sent a sketchbook by the gallery, with daily email prompts for drawing. Some posted their responses online as the lockdown went on, sharing their ideas and drawings. Others waited until the endpoint, all posting back their sketchbooks for this exhibition, which will also display many of the online offerings alongside the physical books themselves, a diverse snapshot of an island community at a very unique time.

Sketchbook Project Exhibition, An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, 01851 708480 Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm