Jyll Bradley: Pardes

27.11.21 – 18.04.22

Jyll Bradley’s Pardes evolved over several years, the artist watching the transformation and delving into the history of the Fruitmarket’s new Warehouse.

Bradley’s art draws on systems and structures of growth as metaphors for cultural exchange, place and identity. With Pardes she took inspiration from the structures created by historic Scottish fruit growers to make the most of both the light and the natural warmth in the bricks of a walled fruit orchard, and to the cultural heritage of the Fruitmarket as an old fruit and vegetable warehouse. The title came from an ancient name for a walled fruit garden that gave rise to the familiar word ‘paradise’.
While its form owed something to the leaning design of historic glasshouses for growing fruit, Pardes’s impact was primarily that of a minimal abstract sculpture. Six beams made in wood and live-edged Perspex flew through the space from ceiling to floor. Lit from within, they created a canopy that enveloped the viewer in warm, green light, sustaining us through the darkest time of the year from November to Spring.

Bradley is interested in the life her sculptures take on once they are installed and outwith her control: ‘Far from being a passive thing in the world, the work is a living part of it – changed by light, weather and time … The sculpture will be a meditation upon the interconnectedness of nature, culture, people and place: the ethical connection we have to art and each other.’

Bradley was keen for Pardes to be a welcoming, gathering place, an invitation as much as a sculpture. She invited us to inhabit it individually and in groups, in silent contemplation, individual and collective creation, or joyous, noisy celebration. During its time with us, the sculpture hosted a number of new artworks, including Jyll Bradley’s own films; a performance by artist David Ward; participative drawing and writing with Tom and Laurie Clark; and music programmed with the Scottish Ensemble.

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Images: Tom Nolan and Chris Scott


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