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JO BRADFORD | 'Continuum' | Photographic Series
March 10th 2017
Following on from her ‘Autogenesis’ series, released in March 2016, Jo Bradford’s new set of limited edition photographic works, collectively titled ‘Continuum’, sees the cameraless artist pursue her interest in recording pure colour, this time on a larger scale.

It’s been a year since we first introduced Devon-based artist Jo Bradford’s spectacular cameraless photography. An instant hit both at art fairs and online, her debut Eyestorm series ‘Autogenesis’ is now almost sold out and there’s been a growing interest for new editions. The six brand new works we’re launching today - titled Continuum - are, like Autogenesis, limited editions taken from luminograms - or photograms as they’re more commonly referred to - which Bradford creates by hand in her darkroom without the use of a camera by means of exposing light directly onto photographic paper.

A colourist at heart, the origin for Bradford’s practice is in recording the essence of the purest possible colour that’s contained within light. Through her cameraless photography she seeks to address the relationship between how we view and experience the intangible in an age increasingly defined by technology, with her hands-on approach to her working practice, which involves no computers or technical enhancing techniques. Talking about the new Continuum series, she says it’s “about hue transitions and progressions. My interest here has been in revealing the myriad of subtle hues that can be expanded out from what lies between the seven foremost colours of the rainbow.”

She goes on to say: “Colour is contained within light. A ray of light can be conceived of as being divided, like a rainbow, into a continuum of hue zones. This continuum contains recognisable hues that shift gradually into each other. Each zone contains more gradients than the mind can distinguish. The boundaries between colours are not sharply delineated; rather there are ambiguous transitional areas that make up the hue continuum. These transitions between hues are the focus of the new series: Continuum”.

As with Autogenesis before, each of the six Continuum artworks contain a colour that is an exact colour match to a hue in the adjacent work in the series, when displayed in the desired order. For example, the ruby red seen in Continuum Minium is an exact match to the adjacent red area in Continuum Incarnadine; the turquoise blue in Continuum Verdigris an exact match to the turquoise in Continuum Cerulean, and so on. The titles of each individual work relate to the colours that lie between these corresponding colours - the descriptive names taken from colour dictionaries from the late 19th and early 20th century. Somewhere between emerald green and turquoise blue lies the verdigris hue; between turquoise and cobalt blue lies the cerulean hue. Continuum speculates upon these intermediary colours as both distinct and interrelated; through use of line, space and scale, the seemingly simple yet complex tonal progressions can be seen as an analogue for movement, change.

The visual simplicity and clarity of Bradford’s work almost contradicts the complex process in which they’ve been created. As well as having a passion for colour, Bradford also seeks to perfect her working methods in order to gain the upmost purity and luminosity of light as she records it onto the paper during the short-lived exposures made within the blind space of her pitch black darkroom. Her goal is to capture the inner glow of the prismatic colours on paper in all their dazzling glory. For Continuum she experimented with different papers, in the process discovering one that has a layer of light-reflective metallic and pearl mica embedded in the light-sensitive emulsion surface. By using this specialised paper, along with a particular set of chemical formulae and light sensitive emulsions which are tweaked and adjusted continually, she has created a body of work that comes out of two decades of research and practice in what she refers to as her colour laboratory.

In a limited edition of just 15, Continuum is available as a set of six for $5070.00, or as individual prints. Currently making its debut at the art fair in Battersea this weekend, the series can also be found, along with other works by Jo Bradford, here.
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Attending to singular and flawless hues in the spectrum, inside her darkroom, Jo Bradford captures azurite, incarnadine, heliotrope, teal and others in their fleeting existence. Often it is a tightly choreographed play, allowing colour to merge into each other on the light-sensitive paper, creating new harmonious and eccentric hues in the space where they intersect. Bradford is a colourist at heart, an artist who have made colour the subject of her work and the focus of her practice for almost twenty years. A set of 15 luminograms, titled Autogenesis, is an immaculate example of Bradford’s first passage in the continuum.
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