Jyll Bradley

Coloured ‘tracedown’ carbon paper hot-mounted onto painted beech plywood board.

Bespoke designed frame with painted fluorescent back board.

30cm, 60cm, 90cm square

In Umbrella Work (2023), a suite of new drawings on coloured carbon paper based on the mesmerising geometry of the hop gardens of Bradley’s childhood landscape. Bradley sees the process of making these works as a form of meditation in which she painstakingly repeats complex linear patterns across blue carbon paper, thus transferring them onto the painted board beneath. The carbon paper is then fixed and hot mounted to the board. These intricate works have the character of an architectural blueprint or a personal DNA, the patterns of life that shape and form us.


Solo exhibition at Pi Artworks, London

Curated by Debbie Meniru

20 – 30 September

Jyll Bradley’s exhibition at Pi Artworks is a pitch-perfect triumph. You might think of it all as self-portraiture, as literal self-reflection. The materials, the scale and the body negotiating its space.

Andrew Renton, Professor of Curating, Goldsmith’s College.

Within a Budding Grove takes its title from the second volume of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, which follows the protagonist’s adolescence and his increasing sense of self-awareness. As a teenager, Jyll Bradley spent a lot of time sitting in her family’s greenhouse in rural Kent observing the play between sunlight and glass, a visual language that has remained integral to her work since the 1980s. This exhibition of works across sculpture, photography, film and drawing reflects central themes in Bradley’s work: identity, light and place through a process she describes as ‘queering minimalism.’

Recent, light-reactive sculptures titled Grafts, using her signature fluorescent edge lit Plexiglas titled Grafts (2023) – which share the dimensions of Bradley’s height and which she sees as self-portraits – hang beside hitherto unseen photographic self-portraits taken in the late 1980’s. These highly personal images hint at her desire as a young queer woman to be seen and understood but also to hide away, obscuring her face from the camera and turning to abstraction in her art as a way to express the strange and unexpected.

In Umbrella Work (2023), a series of new drawings based on the mesmerising geometry of the hop gardens of Bradley’s childhood landscape she repeats complex linear patterns across blue carbon paper. These intricate works have the character of an architectural blueprint or a personal DNA, the patterns of life that shape and form us.

The exhibition also includes Bradley’s first film Brigitte (2017). Here, through the passage of the sun and time-lapse photography she captures a ‘day in the life’ of one of her public sculptures on its wall-mounted home beside a railway line in Folkestone, Kent.

Text by Curator Debbie Meniru:


Press release:



Performance programme curated by Jyll Bradley

Presented by Pi Artworks, London

Generously supported by VADA

After a highly successful year at the Hayward Gallery, Bradley is bringing the spirit of her acclaimed work, The Hop to Frieze Sculpture. For this, she is transforming a section of The Regent’s Park into The Hop Square, evoking the themes and vivacity of the work – as both sculpture and place – as a catalyst for exciting performance and activation.

Bradley’s programme draws upon creative relationships developed in response to The Hop whilst at the Hayward. These include Spoken Word Poetry by Abstract Benna, Poet Laureate of Lambeth and Hopping, a dance work by MCDC set to original music score by Sound Artist Emily Peasgood.

An Open Call encourages creatives to suggest projects in response to The Hop.

To celebrate the re-homing of The Hop sculpture to Poplar, East London in 2024, a special dance commission will be premiered at the closing day of The Hop Square and Frieze Sculpture on 29 October. This collaboration – devised with leading choreographer Adesola Akinleye – is between Spotlight, an award-winning Creative Youth Hub based in Poplar, and their dance partners – One Youth DanceIMD Legion and Blink Dance Theatre.


Frieze Sculpture curator Fatoş Üstek talks to artists Jyll Bradley, Temitayo Ogunbiyi and Holly Stevenson about their works on show in The Regent’s Park and the idea of performance in sculpture.




This new film by Will Martin, scripted and narrated by myself celebrates the year long life of The Hop, my Hayward Gallery Commission. The film explores my thoughts about sculpture as a gathering place and shows the many and various creative activations that arose through the work.

Spray paint & photocopy on coloured carbon paper hot mounted on aluminium 31 x 22 x 4 cm. Bespoke ash wood frames.

All works are unique

Fingers is a new family of works on paper that juxtapose feelings of uncertainty with a desire for direction. These drawings continue my fascination with the process, structure and metaphor associated with growing hops. Fingers draw their title and form from the wind-vanes of the oasthouses which were part of my childhood landscape. Traditionally fingers have distinctive motifs – such as arrows and circles – which are specific to place. Sailing high above the countryside and subject to changing eddies, I see fingers as strange signposts to both direction and flux.

For these drawings I researched historic finger motifs and rendered them – or fractals of them – as computer generated graphic designs. I then prepared the grounds. I use coloured carbon paper, a material connecting me to my father who used it when writing poetry. The paper is folded, stripped back and then spray-painted creating layers of opacity and translucency. Then the ‘finger’ designs are photocopied onto the ground. As a result, Fingers have a hand-made quality with boldness of colour and echo of dynamic forward looking 1960’s design, yet a fragility of texture and surface. The simple frames are unglazed to create immediacy between viewer and artwork. Fingers were developed through Brexit and lockdown, times of personal and global uncertainty of direction.

Photo Credit for all images: Marcus Leith

Commissioned by Kaunas 2022, European Capital of Culture. A project of Kaunas ‘Memory Office’ and the ‘City Telling Festival’ in partnership with Kaunas Jewish Community

Sculptural installation and guided tour. Multiple sites across the city of Kaunas.

Fluorescent live-edge Plexiglas, mirrored steel, wood.
Each sculpture 20cm (L) x3cm (W) x5cm(D)

Threshold is a sculpture project and guided tour inspired by the mezuzah, a small ritual object commonly fixed to the doorways of Jewish homes and businesses. A mezuzah contains a sacred scroll and marks the human passage between private/sacred and public/secular space. It is a mark of spiritual connection and belonging and a visual reminder to uphold good values in life. Kaunas was once home to a large Jewish population of 40,000 and the mezuzah was a common sight on city buildings. Since the Holocaust the mezuzah has disappeared without trace – along with the people. The Threshold project re-introduces the language of mezuzah to Kaunas streets. I have designed a small sculpture echoing the mezuzah form but with the scroll replaced by a mirror, inviting reflection for all. City buildings once connected to Jewish life were researched with local collaborator Karina Zidokaite and their current residents and businesses invited to host a Threshold sculpture at their doorway. Thus, each Threshold represents a conversation about the Jewish people who once lived or worked there. It is only through the hosts’ participation that the project is made possible. Made from traditional and futuristic materials each Threshold holds a light for a former Jewish resident whilst also considering the universal gift of ‘mezuzah’ – a challenge to be mindful of our values and behaviour both in public and private.

‘Threshold takes a specific form from a particular historic context and interprets it into the contemporary moment in a way that gathers general and universal relevance. Jyll Bradley’s artwork may appear modest but it contains the considerable ambition to project the experience of a piece of Kaunas’ past in a way that could influence Europe’s future history.’

Lewis Biggs, Independent Curator.

Threshold was launched with a guided tour of the buildings and their human stories written by myself and Karina Zidokaite. This is now available as a map and audio guide:


Image credits: Kaunas 2022, Gražvydas Jovaiša; Lithuanian Stories.

Commissioned by the Hayward Gallery, London, UK

Sculptural installation/pavilion

Fluorescent live-edge Plexiglas, aluminium Unistrut, pine wood.
4m(h) x 5m(d) x 22m(l) Depth dimensions vary across the work.







Set design commissioned for new touring dance work by Michaela Cisarikova Dance Company.

Collaboration with Artist and Fabricator Jonathan Wright

Timber, live-edge plexiglas. Dimensions variable.

Fish Out of Water is a fresh outdoor dance performance using hip hop, interactive sculptures & responsive music to explore themes of belonging, otherness, displacement & migrancy.

​The set is a family of dynamic sculptures. Our design responds to the core idea that life challenges can be an opportunity for growth. We used the language of roofs (ideas of home), the game Snakes and Ladders and structures from obstacle courses to create physical playfulness and push-back for the dancers. The pairing of light reactive colourful Plexiglas suggests the human creativity it takes to turn difficulties into possibilities. At the end of the show the sculptures join to become a house into which young people are invited. The set was upcycled from a former sculpture of mine – Dutch/Light (2017)

Please click the link to the short film about the work:


Fish Out of Water is Co-commissioned by Applause and The Marlowe, with support of SELEP Ltd as a part of Catalyst For Culture and supported by Arts Council England.


Film, 6 mins.

Directed by Jyll Bradley

Music Composed by Anna Clyne
Performed by Violist Jane Atkins
Filmed and Edited by Will Martin

Commissioned by Scottish Ensemble and Fruitmarket, Edinburgh

Myself, Clyne and Atkins were first brought together in 2020 by Scottish Ensemble to make a digital lockdown work. At the time, my Pardes commission at the Fruitmarket had been postponed due to the pandemic so I decided instead to make a model of the sculpture by hand at my studio in London. This formed the basis for a film, with music composed remotely by Clyne at her base in upstate New York and recorded by Atkins at her Edinburgh home.  Reveal thus also represents the full realisation of Pardes and the collaboration between myself, Atkins and Clyne.

Sculpture installation

The Warehouse,

The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Fluorescent green Plexiglas, mirrored Plexiglas, wood

16m (L) x 6.5m (H) x 8m (W)

Pardes is both a sculpture and a place. It is my first for a dark light space, here, a restored former fruit warehouse. Pardes is the ancient name for an orchard or walled garden and has evolved from my research into the growing cultures and landscapes of Scotland – the ‘leaning’, geometric nature of growth and planting expressed through the slopes of the Clydesdale Valley and Newburgh where orchard culture flourished, as well as historic glasshouses. From this I have grafted an abstract, minimalist work pared back in lockdown to its core essentials, mirroring my own questions during this time of ‘what really matters.’ Pardes flies through the warehouse from ceiling to floor, its live-edge Plexiglas gathering available light and pushing it to the edges to make a gloaming work, literally and metaphorically holding the space. Echoing the ancient uses of gardens, Pardes transforms from a place for contemplation to one of gathering and others creation.  Over its life the work will host riotous club nights, new performance art, film screenings and more. I am interested in the generative nature of minimalism, paring something back can open up conversation and meaning.

A new publication telling the story of Pardes – including an in-depth interview between myself and Fruitmarket director Fiona Bradley – is now available through the Fruitmarket bookshop. A special limited-edition artwork was also created for the show. Please see links to these below.