Jyll Bradley

The Historic Dockyard Chatham, 8 June–6 August 2017
Turner Contemporary, Margate, 12 August–5 November 2017

Commissioned by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Turner Contemporary in collaboration with Culture Kent.

Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) marks the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on the River Medway, which brought about the end of the Anglo-Dutch wars, peace between the two nations and an unlikely cultural exchange based on growing plants. At the time of the Dutch Raid, Dutch growers were pioneering early glasshouse technology, which started with the simple idea of leaning glass frames against a south-facing wall – the so-called ‘Dutch Light’ – which led to a horticultural revolution that crossed the North Sea.

In Bradley’s work, five tall ‘Dutch Lights’ made of  Edge-Lit Plexiglas are turned on their side and leant against south-facing walls to create an open glasshouse structure that is activated by the sun.  Audiences can walk and sit within, bathed in swathes of geometric colour: green (for Kent and the UK) and orange (for the Netherlands).

Symbolically the super structure is fabricated using wood from Chatham Dockyard; remnant timbers from an old naval building are thus transformed into a glasshouse, a signifier of the human potential to move toward light and growth.

As companion to her work Jyll Bradley commissioned Artist Fabian Peake to write a poem reflecting upon the Dutch Raid.

Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) is engineered and fabricated by Structural Engineer Ben Godber

Click here for the Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) publication www.issuu.com.

l’étrangère, London, UK

Solo exhibition of all new work and the premier of the artist’s first film.

Click here for exhibition press release

Click here for the interview between Jyll Bradley and Joseph Constable, Assistant Curator, Serpentine Galleries, London.

Hôpital Roger Salengro, CHRU, Lille, France

Le Jardin hospitalier (Inauguration April 2015)
is a major installation transforming a dark
100-metre-long corridor which symbolically connects an old and new wing of the hospital. The work evolved through Bradley’s engagement with the botanical gardeners of Lille and research into the city’s largely unrecognised history of botanical medicine. Bradley’s work pairs human-size, back-lit images with tactile sculptural elements and literary quotes as well as a library area for repose and reflection. Le Jardin hospitalier brings light and a sense of place into the clinical environment suggesting a correlation between caring for plants and people, as well as referencing the technologies and architecture that supports each.

Commissioned by Les Nouveaux commanditaires.

Curated by Amanda Crabtree and produced by artconnexion, Lille.

Fabricated by Darbyshire, UK.

Typographic design by Anne Odling-Smee of O-SB Design, UK.

Funded by the Fondation de France and the Fondation Carasso.

Mummery+Schnelle, London, UK

Solo show focussing on Jyll Bradley’s light-box works and ‘light drawings’. Curated by Gill Hedley

Click here for exhibition press release

Click here for exhibition essay by Liam Gillick

Click here for exhibition interview between Gill Hedley and Jyll Bradley

Please find media coverage of this exhibition at Wall Street Journal

The National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australia

In 2010 Bradley was invited to Canberra, Australia with a view to creating a new project for the city’s centenary in 2013. This major exhibition at the National Library of Australia (designed by Bradley working with the National Library’s designer Isobel Trundle and London-based architect Deborah Nagan) showed the work she made over the course of those three years, all of which explored the identity of Canberra through its remarkable tree-scapes and those people for whom the city’s trees played a large role in their lives. Bradley was the only international artist commissioned to help mark this civic milestone.

Forming the centrepiece of the exhibition was a group of ‘sound portals’: architectural forms fabricated by Canberra-based firm Thylaine that were designed for listening to an individual audio work. Reflecting the library outside the exhibition space, references to printing and works on paper, card and cardboard ran through the exhibition, as did references to light: the key to all green growth.

Click here for exhibition essay by Michael Desmond

Click here for essay on City of Trees by Sarah Jayne Parsons

Film on the making of City of Trees by Rob Nugent

Constituent works:
Light Portals – lightbox diptych
Tree 20– audio work
Conversation with Trees after Fire– audio work
Amongst the Oaks– audio work
Architecture Makes Form; Trees Create Space – suite of 25 drawings on vintage herbarium paper
Scatterproof (Canberra) – suite of 12 photographic prints on Hahnemule paper

The Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK

Jyll Bradley’s first major survey exhibition spanned the previous 20 years of her practice. The show, which explored the concept of light as a means of linking all her works, encompassed photographic installation, text and sound, and included newly commissioned drawings. Bradley re-staged early important lightbox works made at the outset of her career as well as presenting key radio works for the first time.

For Bradley, light acts as a protagonist, drawing together the photographic, the literary and the sculptural to create spaces for inquiries into artistic choices, identity and love. The show also celebrated her long-standing relationship with the city of Liverpool, which began with her being the artist in residence with the Liverpool Botanical Collection up to and including 2008, the year in which the city was European Capital of Culture.

Click here for catalogue online

Click here for catalogue online

The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

In 2006 Bradley was invited to explore Liverpool with a view to making a project to mark the city’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. Conversations with a local gardening group inspired her to embark on a journey of discovery through the city’s botanical history. Bradley was drawn to the work of remarkable Liverpudlian figure William Roscoe, who founded the Liverpool Botanic Garden, which was in its Georgian heyday, one of the most significant gardens of its kind in the world.

Bradley made the first artist’s response to Roscoe’s work – her book Mr Roscoe’s Garden (published by Liverpool University Press) – and collaborated with the city’s botanical gardeners to create an award-winning garden of the same name for the Chelsea Flower Show. As part of her project Bradley also created a light-box installation The Botanic Garden, which was presented at the Walker Art Gallery during Liverpool Biennial in 2008.

Constituent elements:
Mr Roscoe’s Garden – artist’s book (2008)
‘Mr Roscoe’s Garden’ – garden for the Chelsea Garden Show (2008)
The Botanic Garden – suite of 5 light boxes (2008)

Offsite project, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, UK

Solo outdoor installation and weekend long events programme conceived by Bradley. Commissioned as part of Newlyn Art Gallery’s off-site programme at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.

Click here for catalogue online

Hidden Gardens, Tramway, Glasgow, UK

Bradley was commissioned by leading public art company nva, to conceive a weekend festival for the three faiths celebrating ‘festivals of light’ – Advent, Diwali, Hannukah. Central to Bradley’s concept was the creation of the world’s largest dried flower garland. Symbolically, the 100,000 flowers for this were grown by local communities around Tramway through the preceding summer thus capturing Glasgow’s long days of light. These were then harvested and woven into the garland for the darkest time of year when the festivals of light occur. Flower related performative events curated by Bradley and Bill Gee orbited the garland. 5000 people experienced the festival.