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Flora Bradwell

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The Juggler, 2010 Oil on Linen 150x130cm © Flora Bradwell
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Contortionist, 2010 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 90x150cm © Flora Bradwell
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Trapeze, 2010 Oil, Acrylic and Glitter on Canvas 180x120cm © Flora Bradwell
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Seal Lady, 2010 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 152x244cm © Flora Bradwell
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Tightrope Brother 1, 2009 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 150x100cm © Flora Bradwell
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Tightrope Brother 2, 2009 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 150x100cm © Flora Bradwell
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The Grieving Infamous Pyramid Gang, 2011 Oil and Acrylic on Linen 30x40 Cm © Flora Bradwell
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Cash For Gold, 2011 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 40x30cm © Flora Bradwell
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Strange Fred, 2011 Oil on Canvas 25x20 Cm © Flora Bradwell
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First Wife, 2011 Oil on Linen 25x20cm © Flora Bradwell
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Blue Clown, 2011 Oil on Canvas 130x100 Cm © Flora Bradwell
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Silly Betty, 2011 Oil on Linen 25x20 Cm © Flora Bradwell
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Bearded Gertie, 2011 Oil on Linen 20x25cm © Flora Bradwell
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Bossy Aunt Jan, 2011 Oil on Linen 25x20 Cm © Flora Bradwell
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Inbred Jake and Family, 2012 Oil on Linen © Flora Bradwell
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Quick Facts
Schools
City & Guilds of London Art School, 2009, Fine Art
Tags
installation, video-art, surrealism, figurative, exhibition/performance
Statement

The desire to rub a fictional reality up against the everyday probably best describes what drives my practice.

Over the last couple of years I have been creating a series of characters to populate an imaginary circus. Initially the ideas of spectacle and facade drove these brilliantly coloured and patterned performers to distort themselves for their audience, showing off their luxurious paint and vibrant palette. The heightened colour and textured surface mirrored the exhibition of display and theatricality associated with performance and the circus.

Recently I have followed the characters into a more domestic sphere. Andrew McConnell Smith’s The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi, with its enduring image of the celebrated clown performing his last benefit from a chair, influenced the introduction of a new character: The Sitting Clown. And with his emergence came the foundation of an entire clown dynasty: The Cluen Family.

The Cluen Family Tree is a collection of 19 portraits representing members of The Cluen Family, including favorites: Uncle Tony, The One Armed Strongman and Bozo, The Clown Who Ran Away.  It is accompanied by a book by Bella Lordwarf (anagram of Flora Bradwell) detailing the intrigues and tragedies of this great and fabricated family. Here the convention of portraiture is subverted in order to take the viewer into the imagined reality of this strange Clown dynasty.

I am now branching into two new series, both offshoots from the Cluen Family Tree. One is a succession of group family portraits and the other follows the Infamous Pyramid Gang, the last members of the Cluen Family as they go about their daily life in North London.