British paper artist Zoe Bradley has collaborated with Galeria Melissa to create a vibrant and bold collection of exotic East Asian inspired paper flowers, welcoming visitors to the Melissa Covent Garden store in the form of a 'Neon Garden'. The installation has been designed to celebrate the spirit of Melissa's AW17 FLYGRL footwear and accessories collection that champions femininity.
A large suspended lotus sculpture features alongside a kaleidoscopic floral animation in the entrance area. As the viewer continues their journey downstairs, they enter into a garden oasis where the walls are covered in large-scale topiary and a large central lotus sculpture slowly rotates on a floor plinth, echoing its motion upon the ripples of a pond.
A selection of roses, lotus, cherry blossoms, dahlias and fuchsias have been hand-sculpted in Bradley's signature iridescent papers with the introduction of a newly launched paper by G.F Smith – Pastel Heart Attack – as the hero colour; an eye catching day glow hot neon.
'It was important that the scale of the garden was oversized so the spectator is engulfed by the petals towering above them, giving them a sense of escapism and childlike wonder. I was inspired by the visionary director Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and his play with scale of the landscape and characters,' says Bradley.
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. The focal flower has become associated with purity and beauty in the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism. The pink lotus flower is the supreme lotus and is considered to be the true lotus of Buddha.
'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,' adds Bradley. 'I hope the lotus in the entrance attracts the passing public to investigate further. I want them to come into Galeria Melissa and be immersed in these large beautiful flowers. I want people to step inside from the hectic movement of the Piazza and get a little lost in the moment,' she concludes.