Jyll Bradley works in a broad range of media including drawing, photo-based studio works and large scale public art projects. Her public projects often involve engagement from local communities, searching collectively for meaning in the idea of “place”. Light is an important protagonist in her work and she talks of using it to “bring things into the present”.
For Folkestone Triennial 2014, Bradley presents Green/Light (for M.R.), a major new sculptural light installation created for the Old Gasworks site, Foord Road North, Folkestone. Now redundant and inaccessible, the site was once a hub of energy and the very place where electric light was first generated for the town. The creation of the installation has been an intense personal journey for Bradley, who was born in Folkestone in the same year that the Gasworks were decommissioned, but has lived her adult life as a successful artist in London.
Green/Light (For M.R.) is an attempt to ‘square the circle’. The outer square grid of the sculpture – built as a traditional hop garden with wooden poles, wirework and stringing - creates a webbed enclosure that represents her childhood in Kent. The inner circle of aluminium poles that shimmer with colour and gather light occupies the precise footprint of one of the original gasometers on the site, and stands for the energy and insight of her adult life.
Green/Light (For M.R.) has been made with the engagement of the local residents association and in close partnership with Structural Engineer Ben Godber. The sculpture’s exciting, immersive, reflective space invites the further regeneration of the site for the local community.
Jyll Bradley was born in Folkestone, UK, in 1966 and studied at Goldsmiths College (1985–88) and The Slade (1991–3). Since the early 1990s she has exhibited her work in the UK and internationally including: The British Art Show, Hayward Gallery, London (1990); Museo De Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia (2004); and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China (2004); Arnolfini, Bristol, (2005) Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2008); Newlyn Art Gallery (The Exchange) 2010, the Bluecoat (2011). In 2013 Bradley was the only international artist commissioned for the Centenary of Canberra, for which she presented a solo exhibition City of Trees at The National Library of Australia, Canberra. This year she will realise Le Jardin Hospitalier, a major public art commission for the Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de Lille, France as well as having a solo show at Mummery+Schnelle, London, UK.
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Jyll Bradley is exhibiting another piece that incorporates light and structure at Turner Contemporary in Margate. This new commission by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Turner Contemporary, entitled 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. Walk beneath this artwork on Turner Contemporary’s terrace until Sunday 5 November. Find out more here