Jyll Bradley

Le Jardin Hospitalier


The context

As a new building dedicated to the intensive care and burns units was being built next to Hôpital Roger Salengro, a second entrance hall was being designed in the East wing of the hospital, at garden level. Its users will come mainly from public transports (tube and bus). This new East entrance is linked to the main entrance located in the West wing by an existing corridor on the ground floor. This dim corridor is 150m long, it is window-less, monotonous and somewhat oppressive. Thus some members of the staff wished to commission an artist to transform the space, improve users’ well-being and design a new signage system. The aim of the commission is not only to design an efficient connection between the new entrance and the main reception desk but also to enable people walking down the corridor to experience a positive moment comparable to a peaceful promenade.

The commission

Jyll Bradley has proposed a project inspired by botanical gardens, taking into account Lille’s rich botanical history and the medicinal context. Lille had one of the first French botanical gardens in the early 17th century. It currently hosts three gardens (Jardin des Plantes, jardin de la Faculté de Pharmacie and jardin de la Faculté Libre de Médecine) two of which are closely linked to medecine. The functions of botanical gardens, places for walking, learning and relaxing, will be transposed to the corridor. Several backlit images featuring Lille botanical gardens, taken at different seasons, give a new rhythm to the corridor. Images act as windows. Inspiring quotes from French literature – part gardening, part philosophy - interplay with the images. A ‘Knowledge Centre’ at the entrance to the corridor provides welcome seating for rest, gathering and learning. Here visitors will also find computer termini enabling them to discover information about Lille’s botanical history and resources (e.g images of beautiful old botanical books or short films) as well as information on drugs and plants. The artist and designers will also design specific signage and seating.

The artist

Jyll Bradley's work encompasses photography, text, drawing, installation and radio. Light is a constant agent throughout her work. In her photographic light box installations, for which she is well known, light acts as a protagonist drawing together the photographic, the literary and the sculptural to create dynamic spaces for inquiry into identity and choice. Spaces which have potential for social and personal encounter.