Zoe Bradley Design Blog
Zoe Bradley + Galeria Melissa- Neon Garden- Covent Garden Until-15 September 2017 July 5, 2017 04:00
Zoe Bradley + Galeria Melissa- Neon Garden
When Bradley was asked to collaborate with Galeria Melissa in Covent Garden she saw the potential to bring the new element of film to her work. Melissa’s DNA is encoded with an obsession with the new and revolutionary; challenging and reinventing itself in each collection, thus echoed in Bradley's own thoughts.
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
As the gallery stands central in the centre of Covent garden's iconic old flower market it. The shoe store with adjacent gallery means that Art is for all and the visitors that come to the store can have a window into the art world.
Bradley's idea behind the installation was to create an exotic garden, celebrating the feminine, architectural forms of flowers. It was important that the scale of the garden was oversized so the petals towered above the viewer.
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
The hot neon colour underpins the floral textile with accent colours such as fuchsia pink, pastel lilacs and deep plum which all open and bloom into a kaleidoscopic explosion of colour.
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
The Lotus flower is the ‘hero’ flower of the piece and was used to give the floral textile and accompanying animated film the narrative behind the installation.
This Lotus flower has come to be associated with purity and beauty in the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.
A Quote Bradley found says:
‘I thought it was very interesting how the open flower and the unopened Lotus bud forms are associated with human traits. The unopened bud is representative of a folded soul that has the ability to unfold and open itself up.’
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
When you visit the Gallery you are greeted from the doorway with a neon suspended Lotus flower in the entrance with a backdrop of a kaleidoscopic floral animation.
Our collaborators Swhype worked tirelessly on the animation of this 3minute loop sequence to Bradley's creative direction. Working directly with the patterns and filmed 3D hand-sculpted creation of each ZB paper flower. This backdrop of blossoming flowers added a magical element to the exhibition.
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
As you continue down the stairs you enter a room vinyl wrapped in a hot neon oasis of flowers in a variety of oriental styles. A second lotus flower rotates on the floor echoing the motion of a flower opening upon a pond.
"My work is drawn from nature and the natural rhythms in nature. There is always an element of symmetry in my work, from the floral elements to the overall silhouette of the piece. I look for balance and natural patterns. I work rather instinctively with the paper than mathematically; the flow of the piece is important to me so there is life and movement in the silhouette."
400 hand-sculpted flowers we're created from Bradley's studio and sculpted into a series of landscapes that we're photographed by Arthur Woodcroft and stitched together to form a large scale wall vinyl. The artistry ran through this collaboration right down to the piecing together of the details of the vinyl.
Bradley's idea to turn the flowers into a vinyl wallpaper ment that the scale of the paper flowers could be used in a larger format that usual creating even more drama to the scale of her work.
There are many layers to this exhibition, but the development of large wallpaper design is a new exciting avenue for Bradley one that you should see more developments over the coming year!
Why Making A Spectacle Of Christmas Windows Is So Crucial For Brands November 24, 2016 13:30
Zoe Bradley's Christmas Window for Tiffany & Co 2009
Janet Wardley, head of visual display at Harvey Nichols for the past 20 years, says “It has been an exciting challenge to transform the store’s facade with marbled panels inspired by the Italian Renaissance architecture to bring Italy to our UK and Ireland sites this year.
“The use of lighting effects to create two different night and day displays highlights our iconic, playful and daring brand identity' offers Wardley.
Santa feature's in five windows along Oxford Street, where each set took over 100 hours to make and include 90 mirrored disco balls. It should be noted that no Polar Bears or Penguins were harmed in the making of these windows.
Carved wood ballerinas and toy soldiers stand proudly amongst the turning cogs of clocks and piles of presents in the Liberty windows.
Liz Silvester, Head of Visual Identity at Liberty commented: “This year it was decided that music, dance and drama would be used to bring out the spirit and charm of an exciting and emotive Christmas time: The Nutcracker was the perfect choice!”
Saks Fifth Avenue also features six windows along Fifth Avenue titled, "The Nutcracker Sweet," where you'll find Clara and the Mouse King frolicking amongst a luscious playground filled with treats. The multicoloured ten-story tall light show, which the department store is most known for during the holidays, is not to be missed. It play's daily from 5 to11pm every ten minutes until 2nd January.
NEW Outdoor hand crafted Waterproof Paper Christmas Wreaths November 11, 2016 14:06
The wreaths have been made in a specialised plastic coated paper, so are totally showerproof and won't wilt and go soggy on bad weather days!
Game of Thrones Exhibition Will Feature Zoe Bradley Red Rose Corset November 4, 2016 09:00
Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones will have a chance to visit an art gallery next week filled with a huge range of artwork inspired by the award winning programme. We are delighted that celebrated paper artist Zoe Bradley has been asked to take part in this exciting Pop Up exhibition in East London. Celebrating the release of Season 6 available now on Digital download and releasing on Blue-Ray & DVD on 14th November, Game of Thrones, fans will get the opportunity to see original pieces of work and inspirational pieces from the characters to never seen before storyboards, along with an exclusive look at costume sketches and other behind the scenes material.
Sotheby's Royal & Noble Descent auction exceeds in Sale with artist Zoe Bradley collaboration August 3, 2016 17:43
I met with Sotheby’s Old Master paintings specialist and magazine columnist Jonquil O’Reilly. A resident fashion historian and style ambassador. She inspired me with stories behind the paintings of the Old Masters and the traditions behind the garments and reasons for the styles of the fashion pieces. This proved a springboard for my own research. I began looking into paintings and costume books of etchings that documented the fashions of the time. I found the opulent wigs adorned with feathers, flowers, birds, and powdered with wheat flour stories fascinating. Visually these looked like works of art themselves! The enormous dresses with metres upon metres of the finest silks were tremendous fashion statements. Covered in ruffles, bows, fine lace work and jewels. We worked on scoring techniques with the papers to recreate the fine silks that were used in the court dress to emulate the luxurious nature of the fabric. A challenging but an exciting brief.
THE RED DRESS: EAST GALLERY
This monumental dress is 6m in length and 2.5m in height. It consist's of over 6000 hand sculpted paper ruffles and was adorned with magenta Swarovski crystals along with individual hand crafted roses and ribbons. The symbolism of using red and the shear scale of the piece was created for its symbolism, relating to vast wealth in the 17th and 18th Century.
Inspired by the Elizabethan period and the Spanish court dresses, the designs began with the Farthindales (the distinctive shape that goes underneath the dress) and commonly associated with the Tudor's and worked up to the plunging neckline of a corseted bodice complete with large puff sleeves. The paper ruffle textile was created by hand folding each ruffle and fixing into place to create a delicate shell like textile, that reflected the ornate dress style of the period. The metallic finished paper was chosen for it’s luminous silky quality.
SHOE: EAST GALLERY
These gold shoe’s were based upon a Venetian shoe, from 1700. Often heels would be worn by men as well as women. A fine and expensive shoe always had red heels and soles - the dye was expensive and carried a martial overtone. This fashion soon spread overseas - Charles II of England Coronation portrait of 1661 features him wearing a pair of enormous red, French style heels - although he was over 6ft (1.85m) to begin with. It was also indicative of how the wearer of a red sole or heeled shoes was part of the elite inner court circle.
The texture of the chinese silk was recreated through scoring by hand a scratched line across the metallic card to emulate this fine surface texture. The carnation and blossom flowers and 3D scroll effect were brought to life through pressing textures into the paper to bring these details to life. Every part of the shoe was recreated in acute detail, plaited edging and rolled strips make up the carved paper heals. The paper shoes were finished with a row of clear cut crystals that were placed around a paper buckle. A truly detailed work of art, if only they could be worn!
CROWN: NORTH GALLERY
This majestic sculpture was based upon Elizabeth I crown from the Tudor era. The crown is clad with over 3000 hand cut gold leaves and scored by hand 36,000 times. We finished this very fine detailed crown off by adorning it with Swarovski crystals and pearls. The detail in this piece really has to be seen to be believed.
NECK RUFF: NEW GALLERY
With a diameter of 100cm, which allegedly was the largest size neck ruffs were ever made to, this was technically the most challenging piece .
The 1580s saw the increasing use of lace in ruffs, it was a symbolic fashion accessory that showed wealth & status. The bigger and more frivolous these lacy wheels were the more ostentatious and vain the wearer appeared. We created a repeat laser-cut artwork inspired by Elizabeth I neck ruff, the finely cut details referred back to intricate lace designs of the Elizabethan era. We tried to emulate this detail through the laser cut design. The Ruff is created from over 30 metres of paper. The edges were finely cut to create opulence and delicate edging. Edges were historically kept crisp with straightening irons and we used the same method to give the paper a crisp finish.
WIG: WILSON GALLERY
The 18th Century was the era of big hair for both men and women alike. Women's hair was piled up into towering mounds, helped by padding and hair pieces and added chignons and this was to be my approach in creating the paper wig. Building the strands of paper hair onto an exaggerated mould, I was then able to build up the wig using all the decorations synonymous with this period, from ornament feathered birds, clusters of roses and bows with jewelled centres. Flower chains held in place by Swarovski coloured pearls were placed either side while a plume of feathers jutted from the back of the wig into the air. The fine ringlets at the back of the wig were twisted and rolled around modern day curling tongs, but that's about where any similarity with today's hair preparation ended!
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley Talks on How Fashion & Art Inspire her Work at Royal Academy of Art May 18, 2016 17:39
'Craftmanship combined with silhouette is the handwriting of Zoe Bradley.'
"My precious experience working with Alexander McQueen at such a seminal moment in his career, ignited in me a real love of craftsmanship and detail' says paper artist Zoe Bradley.
This really is where her career path took a left field turn. Instead of pursuing the normal route of ready to wear design, Bradley found a love and passion for creating extreme silhouettes in unusual materials. Working at McQueen's studio led Bradley into sourcing materials, such as wood, metal and raffia. Today, Bradley choice of material is paper. She has developed her techniques over the past 10 years in what she describes as "A truly unique hand sculpted product that celebrates the beautiful and natural forms found in nature."
The winged plywood corset designed by Alexander McQueen and created by Bradley for his no 13 show 1999
Ahead of this Friday's Talk at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Zoe Bradley will be discussing her journey from it's humble beginning to where she is today.
Fashion Editor and muse, Isabella Blow, championed Bradley's early work. Blow loved her final graduate collection. She made her stamp of approval by photographing it for the cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine.
Zoe Bradley's final Graduate Collection as featured in The Sunday Times Style by Isabella Blow
'I was drawn to the spectacle of the fashion show that bordered on performance art' says Bradley. She cites Hussein Chalayan, Comme des Garcon, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen as inspirational designers. Mavericks in their design field, who were the exception. Not content with just showing their collections up and down a runway, they pushed boundaries and created theatre. Bradley knew she HAD to work with McQueen, whose vision she admired, respected and above all felt emotionally inspired by.
After joining the team as an intern in 1997, Bradley was given the role of showpiece maker working exclusively on the more unusual commissioned pieces that were very often not from fabric. Working closely from his sketches and specialist craft makers she assisted in creating some of the most iconic pieces in fashion, most recently seen in the exhibition Savage Beauty at New York's Metropolitan Museum and more recently at the sell out show in London's V&A museum.
As Bradley will explain in this Friday's talk at the Royal Academy of Arts, these were defining moments in creating the spectacle and drama out of an everyday material. Paper.
From pleated showpieces for Michiko Koschino to creating a magical christmas window for London store Liberty, Bradley's path was set to become a paper visionary designer offering a bit of magic into the world of retail.
Work in progress: Creating one of the paper headpieces for Liberty of London Christmas window 2005
Other commissions followed from Tiffany & Co, where Bradley designed and created 146 bespoke windows for their global christmas campaign. Inspired by Fairytales, the work resulted in a perfectly executed story book in a glass box.
One of the five Fairytale scenes, designed and created in paper by Zoe Bradley for Tiffany & Co Global window campaign for Christmas 2009
From International windows that span from New York to Berlin, London to Hong Kong, Bradley has worked on creating some magical sets for advertising campaigns and produced detailed paper works of art for some of the best and well known magazines in publishing. Her work has been exhibited in Amsterdam and London's Sotheby's and appeared in numerous books on paper art.
A pair of gold paper shoes created by Zoe Bradley with Swarovski crystals for Sotheby's London for their Royal & Noble Descent exhibition. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
The 6 metre long Red Ruffle paper dress. Designed and created by Zoe Bradley for Sotheby's Royal and Noble Descent exhibition and auction 2016
If you'd like to hear Zoe Bradley talk more in detail about her life in paper and how fashion and art have really had a lasting influence on her work, please secure your place for this Friday's insightful 'In Conversation with …'event at Royal Academy of Art. Places are limited and the event would normally be open only to Friends of the Academy, who this week have been celebrating with all kinds of inspiring events from Talks to Workshops. The Zoe Bradley Talk takes place this Friday 20th May from 7pm - 8.30pm.
The Floral paper chandelier designed and created by Bradley for Burlington Arcade 2015. Photo courtesy of Jamie McGregor Smith
You can confirm your attendance by sending an email to the link below stating its for the Zoe Bradley Talk this Friday.
Places are STRICTLY limited.
There is also this link to our Facebook page
Paper Artist & Designer Zoe Bradley invited to Talk at Royal Academy of Arts April 29, 2016 14:32
Zoe Bradley's collaboration with Marks & Spencer WINS Most Creative Visual at Jasmine Awards March 17, 2016 14:28
We were delighted to hear this week that our collaboration with Marks & Spencer won Best Creative Visual at the annual Jasmine Awards, held at BAFTA London on Wednesday 16th March. Under the Creative Direction of Karen Davidson of Paul Barry Design, paper artist Zoe Bradley created six different paper shapes, inspired by the festive season, including a holly leaf and winged Angel to illustrate the 'Forever Fragrance', timeless classic's that every women should take note of.
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley Collaborates with Sothebys to create unique Installation January 22, 2016 15:17
Tomorrow will see the unveiling of five incredible works of art created by reknowned paper artist Zoe Bradley. The unique pieces were created by Bradley and her small team of highly skilled crafts people from her UK studio. Each piece takes its inspiration from rare and beautiful works of art that have been curated ready for auction by the famous auction house Sothebys. Entitled Of Royal & Noble Descent, the works on view once belonged to royal and aristocratic European families.
They have literally been bought to life through Zoe Bradley's paper sculptures, which include a pair of gold shoes encrusted with Swarovski crystals, a large white Ruff with intricate cut out detail to emulate lace work, an oversize gold crown also beautifully adorned with precious Swarovski stones and pearls, a large 17th Century inspired wig, complete with feathers, birds, roses, bows and small flower chains held in place by soft pastel pearls. Each bow has a faceted cut crystal attached, also from Swarovski.
The largest piece is a 6 metre long red dress. A masterpiece in paper manipulation, it contains thousands of ruffles and hundreds of roses and bows. All produced in a deep rich iridescent red paper to give the illusion of centuries old silk. Again the bodice is adorned with red Magma crystals from Swarovski that sparkle wonderfully under the gallery lights.
The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow Thursday 14th January until next Monday 18th with a special Late Night View this Friday 15th January with a special Fashion Talk by Old Master Specialist and Harpers Bazaar Contributing Editor @bazaaruk Jonquil O'Reilly
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley collaborates with Japanese store Hankyu for her largest window installation. September 14, 2015 13:55
This month Zoe Bradley Design collaborated with premier Japanese department store, Hankyu in Osaka to create seven stunning windows to launch the new season collections for Autumn Winter 2015. Taking inspiration from the textures and embellishment that many designers were showing for the coming season, we pushed paper to its limits and created oversized couture style gowns and headpieces to bring the dramatic windows to life.
Highlights include a deep claret pom pom gown, which tumbles and cascades from a gold mannequin, perched bird-like from a high swing and a voluminous Hydrangea gown complete with headpiece that fills an entire window. The shear size of the enormous windows, played to Zoe Bradley's strengths of over scaling the silhouettes from the 4 metre high dresses to an expansive blossom headpiece that stretches across the window and the magical swirling butterfly headpiece that grows from the mannequin’s head rotating across the window. A vision of fantastical fluttering wings, where each butterfly is adorned with a single Swarovski crystal.
The creations were very fashion focused as we set out to imagine seven ‘Gorgeous’ windows that takes you on a journey through a magical garden from the hundreds of colourful drop flowers to a huge flowering rose branch.
For the first time, Zoe Bradley also collaborated with the worlds leading crystal brand, Atelier Swarovski. Hundreds of sparkling crystals were applied to the dresses and the butterflies. The effect was spectacular, as it gave real depth and sparkle to the bespoke creations and re-enforced the fashion trend of embellishment. Each crystal was painstakingly applied by hand. The whole showcase of the windows was about craftsmanship and decoration and yet again showed how the medium of hundreds of sheets of flat paper can be realised into something very unique and visually exciting.
The work was on an enormous scale and the Zoe Bradley team simply could not have achieved such magnificent creation without the manpower, skill and patience of the Hankyu team who we worked alongside in their Kyoto workshop in the run up the installation. This has been our biggest creation to date and probably has set some kind of world record on creating the largest number of windows made solely from paper. We hope you can see from the images the craftsmanship and skill that took place in creating these magnificent windows.
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