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Images © Dean Brannagan 
Art Deco Paradise, 2020 - 2021
Site-specific vinyl window installation
Dimensions 3.5 m x 2.8 m (approx)

Created for 154 Kensington High Street, London as part of High Street Windows initiative by Kensington + Chelsea Art Week Team for the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington Council

The installation is inspired by the Art Deco department stores that helped establish Kensington High Street as the centre of retail during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The birth of the department stores such as Derry & Toms and Barkers of Kensington had a significant impact in the profile of London; highlighting the changing of lifestyle and aspirations of the general public. These buildings were iconic famed as palaces of luxury - Derry & Toms was home to Europe's largest roof garden which consisted of three different gardens with 500 species of plants, fountains, a stream, ducks, flamingos and a restaurant.

Art Deco Paradise takes influence from the clean lines of the Art Deco movement incorporating a base of gold and silver mirrored vinyl with layers of triangles in light green, forest green, warm yellow, light blue, aqua and royal blue. These woven shapes zigzag across the window front - reflecting one of London’s finest examples of an Art Deco High Street. The colours evoke the tropical colours roof garden and capture some of the magic of Émile Zola’s novel ‘The Ladies Paradise’ which so beautifully describes the excitement and innovation during the boom of the early department stores in Europe.

All content © Fiona Grady 2023