Jyll Bradley: Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block)
12 Aug 2017 - 25 Feb 2018
Jyll Bradley's Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block), will be in situ on the Gallery terrace from Saturday 12 August. The structure will be activated by the sun - walk and sit underneath it while bathed in geometric colour. Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) celebrates the history of horticultural exchange between the UK and the Netherlands. The installation, co-commissioned by Chatham Historic Dockyard and Turner Contemporary in partnership with Culture Kent, marks the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on the River Medway in 1667.
This brought about the end of the Anglo-Dutch wars, the start of 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.
“I call the work Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) because the first person to ripen a pineapple in Europe was Agneta Block, a Dutch horticulturalist and art collector. Pineapple growing using the 'Dutch Light' and southerly wall system was the focus of early Anglo-Dutch horticultural exchange. I feel the story of the Dutch raid is very male; a fascinating by-product of it is a woman growing a pineapple - and our love of glasshouses today.” Jyll Bradley
The sculpture will be in situ on the Gallery terrace from Saturday 12 August. Five tall ‘Dutch Lights’ are turned on their side and leant against south-facing walls to create an open structure that is activated by the sun, and under which audiences can walk and sit while bathed in geometric colour.
The ‘Dutch lights’ are made of intensely coloured Plexiglas: green (for Kent and the UK) and orange (for the Netherlands).