Florence Broadhurst Arabian Gardens
Years ahead of her time, the complex, eccentric and talented Florence Broadhurst was born in rural Queensland, Australia in 1899. By the time of her death in 1977 Broadhurst had lived and worked in Australia, Asia, and England; performed professionally on stage; been befriended by royalty; exhibited her paintings; and started an internationally successful wallpaper company whose success was based upon her own designs.
A multi-talented legend, Broadhurst expressed herself creatively through multiple mediums, platforms and continents around the world. After winning a singing competition in 1915, Broadhurst started performing in various towns and cities in Queensland. By the early 1920s, she was performing in India, South-East Asia and China. In 1926, Broadhurst founded a modern academy of arts in Shanghai, known as the Broadhurst Academy, offering tuition in violin, pianoforte, voice production, modern ballroom dancing, classical dancing, musical culture and journalism. Never one to settle, Broadhurst moved to London and reinvented herself as Madame Pellier, running a dress salon on Bond Street in 1933.
After spending more than a decade in the United Kingdom, Broadhurst returned to Australia and settled in Sydney where she started painting enthusiastically and prolifically. Transforming her creative talent into a business opportunity, she started a revolutionary wallpaper business in 1959, creating hundreds of unique and luxurious patterns with rich and vibrant colours all perfectly matching her flamboyant personality. By the mid 1960s, her company monopolised the Australian market and started exporting to America, Peru, Paris, the Middle East and Norway. She continued to work actively until her death in 1977 at the age of 78.
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