Florence’s Broadhurst’s designs embraced a plethora of styles, periods and influences - some were bold and commanding while others were delicate and refined.
Like her, they were all unique, arresting
and ahead of their time. Much of her inspiration came from her travel experiences and theatrical exploits during the 1920s. Bobby Broadhurst, as she was then known, travelled extensively from her base in Shanghai performing with the
avant-garde troupe The Globe Trotters,
who were described as colourful musicians and comedians with a touch of burlesque.
Their success took them to venues
such as the Palace Theatre in Karachi,
the Theatre Royal in Kowloon and
the Royal Racquet Club in Bangkok.
India, Assam, Burma, Malay, Java, Sumatra and Japan were other fascinating locations that she frequented, performing to the upper echelons of society and befriending royalty. During her time at these exotic locations Bobby Broadhurst was absorbed by and exposed to the many diverse cultures, artistry and architecture, which were
to become her future artistic inspirations.
When Florence began her wallpaper business in Sydney 1959, her goal was
to cure people of what she called “the timid decorator syndrome”.
“You can spot them easily," she said,
“they are afraid of colour and bold design.”
Florence Broadhurst wallpapers could
be printed in any colour combination,
as customisation was her speciality.
She called this “personalisation”.
Colour was Florence’s forté; she made
an art out of mixing paint to match her clients’ samples of carpet, upholstery fabrics and artwork.
Florence’s creative and artistic urges would continually flow through her mind’s eye.
Her work has been described as having
a mediumistic quality with a myriad
swirls and patterns erupting from her subconscious. When interviewed by
a journalist in the 60s Florence was quoted as saying that “patterns would appear
in my mind at all hours of the day and night. I had so many creative ideas I couldn’t