In the second of their series of Solo Collaborations, Scottish Ensemble are delighted to announce ‘Pardes’, presented in association with The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.

A film by artist Jyll Bradley created in collaboration with composer Anna Clyne and violist Jane Atkins and commissioned by Scottish Ensemble, ‘Pardes’ is the second iteration of Solo Collaborations, a series of online audiovisual work born out of lockdown that embraces the unique possibilities of digital. Each Solo Collaboration aims to capture the ensemble’s approach to imaginative cross-artform collaborations, bringing together creatives to produce a new work together, entirely remotely.

Working together throughout the creative process, while adhering to all COVID-19 restrictions, artist Jyll Bradley and composer Anna Clyne collaborated closely to bring together Jyll’s visual world with Anna’s musical ideas. The final score was then recorded at home by Scottish Ensemble violist Jane Atkins.

‘Pardes’ is a new digital project that explores our relationship with the ever-changing natural world and is a meditation on creative potential, light and growth. The film opens with the hand-making of a small-scale model of an artwork incorporating string, balsawood and twigs with light-reactive Plexiglas. A mysterious, leaning structure emerges, registering between shelter, plant trellis and stringed instrument.

Placed in the light and filmed over the course of a day through time-lapse photography, the model comes alive as an organic, generative framework. Casting ever-changing colour, pattern and allusive shapes it makes visible both the sun’s powerful agency and its own creative potential.

Weaving through and informing the visual realm of ‘Pardes’ is a richly composed world of new music, ancient, mystical text and everyday human life.

Artist Jyll Bradley says of the work: “’Pardes’ is a six minute meditation on making the invisible visible. The model structure revealed through the film – and which will grow in size for next year at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh – is based on a minimal wooden screen designed by a Scottish gardener to harness the power of the sun for their wall-grown fruit.

“This metaphor – of the practical, spiritual and emotional ‘graft’ involved in creating a framework through which something may be revealed, be it a fruit or an artwork – lies at the core of Pardes.

“What I needed to do with the film was simple – to create a generative space for Anna and Jane. I will never forget the morning when Anna’s first music featuring Jane’s playing arrived. I sat and cried. Miraculously, although we had never met in real life and we were thousands of miles apart, as artists we had understood each other’s intentions.

“There was real connection. This is the first time I have worked with a composer and musician and I am so grateful to Scottish Ensemble for the gift of collaborating with two such extraordinary women creatives.”

Jenny Jamison, Chief Executive at Scottish Ensemble, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing the second in our Solo Collaborations series, particularly as it comes at a time when access to both new music and art continues to be limited. Commissioning and cross-artform collaboration are at the heart of Scottish Ensemble’s identity and being able to unite artists across both art-forms and continents on this project has been a real privilege.

“The beautiful film that Jyll, Anna and Jane have created without ever meeting in person is testament to the power of human relationships and creativity to transcend many barriers. We look forward to seeing ‘Pardes’ in situ at the Fruitmarket Gallery in November 2021.”

Solo Collaborations was born out of lockdown and in direct response to the world ‘shutting down’, each Solo Collaboration aims to capture the ensemble’s approach to imaginative cross-artform collaborations, bringing together creatives to produce a new work together, entirely remotely.

‘Pardes’ will be realised as a major installation in the new warehouse space of The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh from November 2021 to April 2022. The Fruitmarket is currently closed for redevelopment and expansion and, while the project has been delayed by the Coronavirus crisis, the new Fruitmarket is set to reopen in April.

‘Pardes’ has been commissioned for the warehouse space which was originally a fruit and vegetable market in the bustling city centre, and draws its form from Scottish fruit-growing heritage, in this case a simple, practical screen of wood, string and branches invented by a Scottish gardener to bring both sunlight and protection to their wall-growing fruit. During its life at the Fruitmarket, the installation, Pardes, will also make a space for new creation and this film project heralds this and plants a seed for future collaboration.

All images credit Jyll Bradley and Will Martin 2020