Florence Broadhurst announced she would colour Australia. Everywhere she had been and everything she had seen found voice in a whirlwind of creativity. Florence’s archive grew to over 500 images ranging from tapestries to geometrics, florals, psychedelic, and delightfully eccentric chinoiserie. Following is a small selection of designs from her stunning collection.
Japanese Floral - One of Florence's grandest and most iconic designs, draws its inspiration from elegant Japanese floral art. The stylised lotus is a bold pattern, recognisable by it's dramatic scale and unique style. Don't be fooled, there are many imitations, but nothing quite like this original from Florence Broadhurst.
The Cranes - inspired by Florence’s travels in Asia and one of her most iconic patterns, The Cranes is a celebration of ancient flora and fauna that perfectly balances the oriental bird amongst the whimsy of blossom trees. This delicate, hand drawn, floral tracery, outlined against elegant backgrounds, gracefully complements beautiful textiles.
Kabuki - Kabuki, and it's smaller sister Ikeda, harks back to Florence's early days in Asia. As it's name suggests this Kabuki fan pattern is dramatic in size and detail, drawing inspiration from Japanese theatre, and giving us a glimpse into the showgirl's escapades during the roaring 1920's.
Cockatoos - After an amazing life overseas as a performer and fashion designer, Florence returned to Australia. She said that "there's no other country in the world with such colour". It was the beauty of her homeland that inspired her to start painting and soon after began her internationally successful wallpaper company. Cockatoos captures the essence of Florence's homecoming, the unmistakable form of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo camouflaged by the lush foliage, dramatic and yet stylish just like Florence herself.
Fingers - Fingers was inspired by Florence’s time as a socialite and party goer as part of Sydney’s vibrant social scene in the 1960’s and 70’s. This design is classic, yet contemporary, and evokes a striking balance between drama and rhythm.
Yvan's Geometric - This geometric pattern was designed and printed by Florence in the early 1970s for a prominent ‘Eastern Suburbs’ Interior Designer, Yvan Methot. Yvan was a French-Canadian designer, fresh from New York who was crying out for visual originality. He was the inspiration behind her abstract geometric designs. The simplicity and movement of the pattern imparts both interest and ease, making this wonderful design suitable for a host of design style applications.
Spotted Floral - Florence steps out from her persona of Bobby Broadhurst used during her time in Asia and reinvents herself as Madam Pellier, a fashion designer. A classic floral inspired by Florence’s period as a ‘French’ fashion designer in London, this design a 60’s eclectic vibe with English Garden overtones.