Jo Bradford | 'Portals' | New Photographic Editions

This weekend Eyestorm are excited to release three new photographic print editions from Bradford's latest series 'Portals' - a continuation of the artist's meditation on colour and their endless combinations, as well as representing the refined development of her unique camera-less technique

Creating her print editions without a camera through a specialised technique shaped from several years of study, research, and experimentation, Bradford’s works are not only a celebration of colour, but of her knowledge and her process itself.

Since 2016 Eyestorm have had the pleasure of collaborating with Jo Bradford and releasing three successful series; 'Autogenesis', 'Elements' and 'Continuum'.

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The full article about the new series 'Portals', can be read here.

Eyestorm is excited to announce a new print release from British-born Jo Bradford. Following the release of her 2016 edition ‘Autogenesis’, and more recent 2017 ‘Elements’ and ‘Continuum’ series, Eyestorm now present the first three prints in Bradford’s newest series, Portals - and to celebrate their release, we take a closer look at the unique and fascinating process that Bradford has developed and perfected over her 15 years of practice. 

by Tessa Yee 

The lights go off, and as she is plunged into complete darkness, artist Bradford begins her work. Committed to her memory are a series of complicated and precise actions and numbers required to create her unique camera-less photographs. Each step in Bradford’s process must be exact in order for her final print to be perfect. If she forgets part of the sequence, losses concentration, or if she doesn’t move her masks with real precision, then she must start it all over again. It is the beginning of a long and challenging process to produce Bradford’s unique ‘luminograms’. 

Obsessed by colours all around her, Jo Bradford eliminates references to figuration in her work in order to focus on her central interest and fascination with colour, and its endless combinations. Always collecting vintage colour charts, textile cut-offs, books on colour, colour chips and charts, and with a sizeable library on colour theory, optics, art, and design - colour and light is constantly on Bradford’s mind. 

It is perhaps ironic then, that the artist’s camera-less photographic prints are created in total darkness. Enclosed within her darkroom, Bradford must work in a black void, unable to allow any excess light from the outside world to penetrate her studio, and ruin the print process. She may work blindly, but she does so with accuracy and precision, knowing exactly where her tools and materials are, and what her next step should be. As viewers, we can appreciate the beautiful results of Bradford’s work, but perhaps an even greater appreciation can be had when understanding the extensive thought and technique that lies behind them. 

Before even entering her darkroom, Bradford has carefully thought-out and planned her objectives for the print she is creating. Having considered the exact colours and gradients she wants to create, and carefully hand-cutting her masks that will cover and uncover areas of the paper for exposure, Bradford also keeps thorough notes, and sketches to inform exactly how she wishes the resulting print to be - all of which must of course then be meticulously committed to memory. 

When she steps into her darkroom Bradford forgets the outside world, focussing her mind, and concentrating only on a long sequence of actions and numbers that will take her through the exposure timings and filter settings for each gradient she wishes to reveal. It is a mentally exhausting and impressive process that Bradford has developed through years of research and experimentation. Even still, it can take between 5 and 30 attempts with each one taking over an hour to produce, to get just one luminogram exactly right. 

Bradford’s newest series for Eyestorm, Portals represents a continued refinement of the artist’s luminogram technique. Once again Bradford presents colour as both her medium and subject, and as in her previous Eyestorm editions, we can appreciate how she is able to successfully create such subtle changes in gradient, that the shifts from one hue to another are at an almost invisible level - where one colour starts and another ends, is impossible to tell. 

Notably, Portals also represents a slight departure from her previously pure abstract series, as the works contain a subtle reference to something literal (indicative in their title). The seemingly abstract rectangles in these works suddenly have a reference to the figurative, which Bradford describes as doorways - 

‘’This comes very simply from the first experience I have of light as I return to the real world outside of my darkroom…I had on some level used the rectangular lines and shapes in these works to mimic or refer to the light and shade found in a room illuminated by a doorway to a sunlit space.’’ 

Once we understand the complexity of Bradford’s technical process, we can only imagine the sensations that must wash over the artist each time she lifts herself out of her state of concentration in her darkroom, opening the door into the light of the world outside, and revealing the brilliant colours of her finished prints. Portals not only marks a subtle departure from purely non-figurative art, but also reveals how the artist’s personal experience of print-making, has fed directly back into her works - giving viewers a unique glimpse into her world. 

The three new pieces titled, Portals TealPortals Carmine and Portals Chartreuse are available from £795.00 and can be found on Jo Bradford’s artist page here.

New commission for Sir Terence Conran and Peter Prescott's wine bar, Lutyens.

I was commissioned by Eyestorm to create new cameraless photographs for Sir Terence Conran and Peter Prescott’s wine bar and restaurant, Lutyens, on Fleet Street in London in May 2016.  The work is on display at Lutyens Wine Bar, 85 Fleet Street until May 2017, along with previous works, Autogenesis and Lensless Molecular.

The compositions feature circles that were produced by shining light through glasses of Conran & Prescott’s Albion Wines to create the coloured orbs in the final pieces. The opposite colours are captured onto light sensitive paper in a completely dark room. Subjecting the paper to a process of chemical baths develops the latent image and fixes it for permanence.  The geometric lines and compositions are inspired by the modernist, art deco era architecture of the building, which was designed by the great British Architect, Edwin Lutyens in the 1930’s. The artworks are available to buy from Eyestorm

The Photogram Open 2014 Opens 25th January

My work "Deep Sky Objects II" from my Photogram Series "Constructing Space" is included in this show, 30 artists were chosen to exhibit from over 300 submissions. The show will showcase the Photogram as an artform and there are many different types and processes included in the show. The show moves to Silverprint in London to be shown there from the 18th February to the 15th March 2014.

The Beautiful Science exhibition opens in London tomorrow

I have made 2 separate bodies of work for this show. Supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award for ‘Beautiful Science’

"Natural Killers" was made in collaboration with Dr Alice Brown

"Lensless Molecular" was made in collaboration with Dr Rhiannon Holmes White.

Beautiful Science is a collaboration between 12 Imperial College scientists with artists from many different disciplines, each working to the same brief, is their beauty in raw scientific data? Can it be Beautiful Science?

The archetypal scientist, rational, white-coated, methodical, is generally thought to work in non-creative linear ways, while the archetypal artist, emotional, impulsive and unconventional, holds the monopoly on what is ‘creative’. But both ways of working rely on creativity and method, and both produce visual outcomes that reveal something about human perception of the world.

Supported by Imperial College as well as by a Wellcome Trust People Award ‘Beautiful Science’ presents images and original data drawn from the research of Imperial College scientists alongside artists’ interpretation of this information.

By bringing these laboratory images into the gallery, the exhibition becomes an experiment that encourages visitors to consider whether science can, in fact, be considered in the same terms and context as art. ‘My research has always tended towards preparing high quality images that represent a scientific fact. I have always been interested in the aesthetics of the images produced’, says Dr Alice Brown, a post-doc at Imperial researching immunology. 

The scientific data on display encompasses photography of worlds invisible to the naked eye and the graphs, charts and records that are part and parcel of scientific practice. The artworks range across media, encompassing film, photography, painting and design. The relationship between the raw data and artistic interpretation vary across a spectrum from literal and direct engagement to highly abstract, evocative works that bear only the echo of scientific inspiration. Biologist Martin Spitaler, who runs the light microscopy facility at Imperial, says of his participation, "I hope this initiative will manage to make science accessible to the world outside, through the pure beauty of its images, through a glimpse at these wonderful hidden worlds, through interaction with more familiar forms of art."

Featured artist:

Jo Bradford’s work blends photography with painting and printmaking, using lensless media such as luminograms and photograms. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and US and she has been artist in residence at Plymouth College of Art and Design as well as benefitting from an Arts Council Creative Development grant. In 2011 one of Jo’s meteorite photographs was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour as part of ‘Flux Face in Space’ celebrating the space shuttle programme. Jo’s direct photographic method in her project ‘Lenseless Molecular’ stays close to the source, adding one layer of interaction between data and artwork.

Cliché Verre in The Digital Age

The Cliché Verre in The Digital Age exhibition Opens today in San Francisco.

5 of my Cliché Verre prints are in the group show at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery on Sutter Street in San Francisco.

Other artists in the show are Abelardo Morell, Peter Feldstein, Courtney Johnson, Maggie Foskett, Suzanne Izzo, Fredrik Marsh, Fred Parker, Frank Rossi, David Symons, and Käthe Wenzel.

Cut and paste this link to see the Press Release PDF

The show runs April 7–May 3, 2011

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 7, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
464 Sutter Street, 
San Francisco,

Tues.–Fri.10 –6

Photo Alchemy Opens Today in Portland

This exhibition showcases the revival in alternative process photography. In recent years contemporary photographers have been taking a fresh look at early printing processes‚ from cyanotypes to daguerreotypes, these deep, dreamy images bring a unique style and surface to a photograph that can not be achieved digitally.

As the juror for this show, Laura Moya tells us, “I am delighted with the recent groundswell of photographers rediscovering historic and alternative processes. There is still an inherent need for some artists to use photography to explore the unexplained in life. The processes in this exhibit lend themselves to the exploration of memory, loss, and the unspoken. It hints at traces—of people, of objects, of ideas. Perhaps unknowingly, poetry becomes part of the image.

These new images explore the notion that the time spent ‘crafting’ a photograph versus ‘taking’ a photograph gives the photographer space for thought. If one is working with heavy lenses, glass plates, or a multitude of chemicals, time slows down. If one is considering how air temperature might affect one’s film, time really slows down. It is the complexity of these processes that bring gifts to the table.”

Installation View

Installation View

FLUXFEST at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Illinois February 15-20

This exploration of Fluxus activity includes contemporary re-interpretations of classic Fluxus scores and actions; new Fluxus performances by Fluxus artists. Performers include the Chicago Fluxus Ensemble and invited Fluxus artists.