CELEBRATING BRITISH SUMMER SOCIAL SEASON
As a special tribute to iconic London store Harrod’s, Social Butterflies campaign, Zoe Bradley was asked to create a store-wide moment that celebrates the British Summer Season at Harrods. The bespoke butterfly chandelier was unveiled in-store on 15th May as a central feature located within the entrance hall of the newly refurbished Door 5 escalator.
Bradley in the studio creating the initial design
This spectacular installation is one of Bradley’s largest to date measuring 5m x 4m. Bradley was specially commissioned to design this spectacular installation made up of over 4,000 blue, laser-cut butterflies. The creation is a testament to Bradley’s truly unique and intricate work.
“I wanted to make something bold and beautiful, but also quite clean-lined and modern. I knew I wanted to focus on the colour of the Blue Morpho Butterfly and create this floating sculpture after watching a YouTube film of an enormous swarm of Monarch butterflies migrating to Mexico. Millions of them were flying in synchronicity like they were performing a poetic dance – it was breath-taking.”
The Harrods window at Door 5 where Bradley’s chandelier hangs.
“I was thrilled to be asked,” “After all, Harrods is an iconic store and has a huge International audience. I started by visiting the space. When you enter door five at Hans Crescent, it is very impressive with a strong Art Deco feel to the hall. In effect, the space itself was a great starting point. It’s like an art gallery, but in a retail setting. I wanted the design of the chandelier to the Art Deco design of the space, but also bring a touch of modernity with the silhouette.”
The original paper butterflies were design and hand painted by Bradley and then cut out or pleated into shape.
“The real challenge on this commission has been translating the piece from hand-sculpted paper to a fine plastic which is a new material for me. Also due to the scale of the piece at 5m x 3m and incorporating over 5000 butterflies, it needed to be made with a production company in London. This was certainly a departure for me, as, I usually work from design through to manufacture within my own design studio. On this occasion I was able to watch it’s creation from cutting floor to final 3D sculpture”, says Bradley.
“In the initial design stages it was important for me to capture the texture of the Butterfly wings using brush strokes applied onto an iridescent paper. I designed a series of hand painted metallic butterflies incorporating delicate folds and lace cut out designs into the wing shape to give depth and movement. This design was captured photographically and printed onto the plastic surface giving the impression of folds in the light and shadow of the print.”
Above: Millington Associates Production team working in there studio on the production of the butterfly chandelier.
“My work is based upon repeat textiles the organic formation of the textile is important. There is a lot of attention to detail as the my sculptures are created by hand, which can require hundreds of man hours.
Photography by Melvyn Vincent
“My aim is for visitors and shoppers as to feel like they have been transported to a tropical place. To be pulled in by nature. The piece is huge, so it means you get to see if from all different angles as you move around the store. I wanted the shoppers to feel as though they’re being surrounded by butterflies.”
Bradley designed a special set of souvenir goods for Harrods including a Tote bag, note book and plastic drinking cup. These included the signature hand painted butterfly design by Zoe Bradley for this special commission which meant the public could take a little piece of the Social Butterflies campaign home with them!
Below: One of the two designs Zoe Bradley for Harrods Tote bags
The Social Butterfly campaign is in store until 20th June. Harrods will be hosting a series of in-store events and special promotions during this period to highlight the store wide campaign. The limited edition Zoe Bradley + Harrods merchandise is available from the gift area and online at www.harrods.com.