Three white inflatable installations protrude from the landscape in Scotland’s Mellerstain’s House and Gardens, works that inhabit two aging structures and a lake that belongs to the estate built in 1725. The installations, which are collectively titled XXX, are by environmental artist Steven Messam and aim to present a contemporary twist on the marble sculptures that were meant to originally decorate the home’s grounds.
As of this year the grounds have been opened as a site for open-air contemporary works, with Messam’s pieces creating the first exhibition at the newly opened Borders Sculpture Park. Scattered, a series of 6 to 13-foot spheres bob on the surface of the lake, available for investigation by the small canoes one can rent on site. Pointed, a spiked protrusion from the former gatehouse of the estate, fills the center of the building, extending out only from the roof in a series of 28 10-foot peaks. Finally, Towered juts from the center of a crumbling old laundry building in a series of tubes, its columns reaching over 26-feet-high.