Flowing; Neon Garden: Zoe Bradley’s Vivacious New Installation

By Jo Phillips

Hand-crafted Paper sculpting. Not something that comes to mind when we think of monumental art installations. Paper is a delicate material, it takes an incredible amount of patience and sensitivity to work with, once upon a time I even tried Origami in an attempt to find inner peace but found the whole ordeal far too stressful to endure for no longer than 10 minutes.

Acclaimed British artist Zoe Bradley however, has taken working with paper to the next level and since 2005 has mastered the ability to push the material to its structural limits by using a combination of pleating, folding, stitching, and curling.

In collaboration with Galeria Melissa, Neon Garden is Bradley’s latest celebration of the femininity and architectural forms of flowers. Once home to Covent Garden’s original flower market, Galeria Melissa creates the perfect venue for such an immersive floral installation.

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Inspired from nature, theatre, couture and architecture, Bradley’s installation features over 1000 sheets of paper, which have been impressively folded into 400 flowers representing a mixture of exotic East Asian flowers; Cherry Blossoms, Dahlia, Fuchsias, Roses, and Lotus. Although their meaning in cultures vary, lotus flowers are typically associated with the notions of purity and beauty within the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Chosen as the focal flower for this installation, a large Lotus has been suspended alongside a kaleidoscopic animation of flowers flowing and folding within the entrance of the Galeria Melissa.

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But downstairs is where the true wonderment begins. A neon garden sanctum is illuminated by UV lights hidden below the heart of London’s most bustling areas. Walls are adorned in intimidating large-scale floral flowers which juxtapose against the intense colour scheme of vibrant and high saturation’s of neon red. Associated with a representation of our emotions at a heightened level, red is often used in cinematography to convey tension. What is interesting is that Bradley’s installation has no direct dialogue, the floral sculptures and colours are strictly there for our own emotional output, and are somewhat reminiscent of an intense psychedelic trip.

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What could potentially become London’s most Instagrammable installation for the Summer, Neon Garden certainly tackles our own interpretation of childlike wonder and escapism through Bradley’s impressive distortion of scale.

Zoe Bradley’s Neon Garden will be on display until 15th August at Galeria Melissa.

All of the above images were given to us courtesy of Galeria Melissa.

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