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  • Writer's picturePeter Berthoud

Monochrome Flowers Bring Valentine's Colour to Soho

A brand new art exhibition/shop opened in Soho on Friday night (10th Feb) and after Valentine's Day, it will all be gone.

Artist Anna Bruder has opened Aline Florist at 63 Broadwick Street in Soho, and there she is selling single stems or hand-tied bouquets, of her individually crafted wooden 2D blooms.

They would make an ideal, unique and original Valentine's gift.

Aline Florist by Anna Bruder
Aline Florist by Anna Bruder

Monochrome cardboard flowers by Anna Bruder
Monochrome cardboard flowers by Anna Bruder

There is plenty of choice with nine different flowers in the series, including lilies, roses, tulips, daisies, sunflowers and daffs. There is even a bonus leaf; well what is a bouquet without a little foliage?

Prices start at just a fiver for a single stem, and this includes expert wrapping by the artist herself.

Anna Bruder wraps the flowers
Anna Bruder wraps the flowers

And what about a gift tag to go with your bouquet? Well, a unique service is available for that too. Poet Anji Manuelpillai is collaborating with Anna Bruder during this exhibition and for just £3.00 he will produce a unique poem to attach to your posy.

He very kindly produced this one for me last night.

Gift tag poem by Anji Manuelpillai
Gift tag poem by Anji Manuelpillai

This Valentine's Day "hijacking" of an empty unit near Carnaby Street aimed to "provide a welcome break from the mundanity of the retail chains" and I think it has achieved that aim with great charisma and wit.

I missed Anna Bruder's previous Aline project, at the Dalston Superstore last December, but I will certainly look forward to seeing more of her planned installations in the future.

This current four day installation is supported by Palagkas, the gallery that specialises in opening temporary exhibitions in unexpected spaces. They provided this background detail:

Anna Bruder is an artist, theatre designer and prop maker who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2004. For over 8 years Anna has worked in the world of theatre, not only practicing as a highly skilled prop maker for London’s leading musicals, but also designing and building awe inspiring sets and installations for productions at The Young Vic, travelling productions with ETO and many more theatre based institutions. This has seen her work alongside some of the best-known directors and designers in the country.
A contemporary pop artist, who touches on the graffiti and graphic images likened to Keith Haring and Jean Paul Basquiat, Bruder utilises her experience and great skill in set design and prop making to create an enchanting and charismatic world.

For me, the show/shop/installation worked on every level. It was engaging, democratic, unpretentious, witty and charming. It involved and immersed its audience in a complete and unique experience. The artist herself fizzes with creative energy and exudes charm and good grace. The seeming simplicity of her designs belies a tremendous attention to detail in the creation of the installation as a whole.

I would encourage anyone, whether looking for a Valentine's gift or not, to take advantage of this brief opportunity and go along to Broadwick Street, see the show and meet both the artist and the poet for yourself.

There are a few more photos, taken on the opening night, on my Flickr Photostream.


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