Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A tapestry called Florence

In 1971 American singer- songwriter Carole King released the single ‘Tapestry’, which became a number one worldwide hit. Meanwhile, in Sydney, Australia, the real life tapestry of Florence Broadhurst was unfurling in an unpredictable and colourful manner. At the time of her death in 1977 (which to this day remains a mystery), the stupendously talented wallpaper designer had seen many re-incarnations in her professional life.Starting out as singer, performer, artist and then as dress salon proprietor (under the alias of Madame Pellier), she went on to leave her enduring legacy by designing wallpaper in "the only studio of its kind in the world".
Could it be that Florence was revealing her internal landscape to the world through her bold designs?
It is only now that I contemplate the possibility of my favourite Broadhust designs being a story book of sorts. Her iconic ‘Horses stampede’ may well have been designed after a wild night of passion between the sheets in which her son had been conceived. The recurrent bird themed prints were clearly her untamed soul yearning to transcend the banal and everyday.....and it is so obvious to me now that her popular ’Japanese floral’ design was devised in a moment of sentiment while reminiscing her days spent touring the Orient.

Whatever the meaning behind Florence’s designs, there is no denying her talent and eye for marrying colour with design.

Florence Broadhurst prints are available through custodians 'Signature Prints'

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