Townley and Bradby

Artist, Writer

Townley and Bradby make interventions, performance walks and artists' books. Townley and Bradby's practice explores the routines and rituals of urban public spaces. By carefully combining place, action and props, they feel for the bounds of what is permissible, or for the level at which an intervention ceases to be invisible and rises into the public view. Their work is nearly always located in the public realm, and has included an improvised game of tennis on urban wasteland (Abide, 2006), a public poll (Plant Popularity Poll, 2006), a performance walk linking the morgue with the crematorium (Dust, 2006), a trail of altered books in a library (Shelf Life, 2003) and a study of pedestrian navigation and cognitive maps amongst Norwich market (Provision, 2004). By situating their work back in the spaces which informed and provoked it, Townley and Bradby are making it available for chance discovery and comment. They intend their work to function as a framework which people can use to reflect on their surroundings. This reflection might be playful, and the notion of games is important, as it presents an invitation to participate. Some examples of these 'portable ideas' are a guidebook suggesting new ways to move around the city (Sweep and Veer: short cuts and intimate routes around Norwich, 2005), a site-specific drawing where a network of white lines painted on the ground led shoppers on sinuous deviations from their usual routes (Sweep and Veer, 2005), and a tennis umpire's chair and megaphone set up in a car park, with the invitation to comment on the banal view (Abide, 2006). read full statement

Location Norwich, East
Activities Early years education, Residencies, Workshops, Participatory projects, Critical writing
Artforms Project, Publication, Drawing, Participatory

News & Events

  • Friday Salon: Gallery as Community

    Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

    This discussion event includes examines participatory practice inside and outside the gallery by mapping some of the projects and thoughts from the artists and curators on the panel.

    Find out more

  • Discussion and Book Launch

    OUTPOST Studios, Gildengate House, 1 Upper Green Lane, Anglia Square, Norwich, NR3 1AX

    Discussion, 2 – 4 pm: ‘what spaces does family life allow for creative practice?’ Book launch, 5 – 6 pm. Children and adults are welcome. Refreshments provided.

    Find out more

  • New publication called: An Endless Round of Repetitive Tasks with Operatic Anger and Comic Turns

    Just received final elements for our book: essays from Judith Stewart and Frances Williams. Got ten days to complete the design work and send files to the printer. Launch date will be Sunday 6th July.

  • Artists on the Gallery Payroll: A Case Study of Contradictory Values in Participatory Practice

    20/06/2014 – 21/06/2014
    Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands

    A conference paper jointly authored with artist Judith Stewart. We will argue that the artists who run participative art projects play multiple roles: artist, gallery employee, participant.

    Find out more

Follow Townley