Jyll Bradley approaches her subject with great sensitivity and has made her own the cause of those both living and dead whose portraits appear in these pages...beautifully produced book...is a delightful and informative book. Plant Heritage, Vol 16, No. 1 2009 A Book exploring the story of one of the world's greatest plant collection has been unveiled. Yesterday the 168 page Liverpool University Press book, Mr Roscoe's Garden was unveiled at the Walker Art Gallery. Liverpool Echo 20080917 The Liverpool Botanical Garden was the first botanical garden to be created by public subscription. it was founded by William Roscoe (1753-1831) and opened its doors in 1803. In 1836 the garden had outgrown its space and escaped the growing city and its smoke to a more rural location called Wavertree. The garden was purchased by the city (1841), parts were transferred to the City Museum and Library (1908), and it was bombed (1941) and rebuilt (1951-1964). Amidst public outcry, the garden ultimately failed over labor disputes in 1984, its history and plants already repeatedly interrupted. Bradley's anecdotes convey the frustrations that accompany this circuitous history. Bradley's book is intended to act as a personal visit to these gardens - a virtual visit that crosses time, space and place. The first part is a sequence of images; a personal repartee between pictures that I have taken, found or been lent. It's purely a visual journey. ... An essay follows, a "garden guide," exploring the story and what feels meaningful to me about it. A catalogue of images and a short chronology concludes (n.p.). Bradley put together a beautiful visual journey in fact. Perusing the book is somewhat like walking through an art gallery - beautiful and sometimes haunting. The book is important to my archival work for Bradley's wonderful contemporary portraits, which have all been noted in our biographical files, but the book alas is frustrating, too: there are no page numbers, no captions, no index. It is difficult to reconcile the photos with the text and figure out who is who. Bradley's concise timeline of a complex history, interviews with plants folk and garden activists and her evocative photography save the work, and I recommend finding a copy. Bradley was artist in residence for the Fragrant Liverpool Project, an international conceptual art project, and this book is the culmination of her research. Huntia, Volume 14 (2) 2011
About the Author
Jyll Bradley (www.jyllbradley.net) is an acclaimed artist and writer based in London. Her work encompasses photography, text and installation and is often a timely response to the particular history and poetics of a place and the people she meet there. Much of her work is based around 'worlds' that are going through a difficult period of self-reflection and transition, or desiring re-invention. Her work has previously been exhibited in Glasgow, Museo De Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, Guangzhou, China and London.