Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hilary Bravo (jewellery)

Sunlight Montmartre
I was wandering fairly aimlessly around Eastbourne last Saturday, allegedly looking for a particular birthday present but there's still a month to go before the day in question so I wasn't trying too hard. Eventually, I found myself outside the Henry Paddon gallery in South Street. This is one of my favourites of the Little Chelsea treasure trove of independent shops. I am almost guaranteed to find items I like within its walls and often within my budget too!

The Henry Paddon Gallery started in 1992 and generally has at least 60 makers and artists showcased at any one time, with a tremendous variety of skills including ceramics, woodwork, jewellery, textiles, glasswork and photography.

This time, my eye was caught by several stunning pendants created by Hilary Bravo. As you go into the gallery, they are in a glass cabinet on the left side. If you get to the wooden violinist, you've gone too far.
Printemps - Boulevard Hau

Hilary is a Devon-based artist whose work is inspired by travel. Her hand-painted jewellery is set in anodised aluminium and resin and she has been creating pieces for over twenty years. During this time, her work has featured in many galleries and collections including the famous Guggenheim in New York. I have chosen to highlight three examples which were inspired by Paris but other pendants represent moments in Venice, Monaco, the Cote d'Azur and Capri and I love the way the colours of these locations are captured within the resin. Each one, being handmade, is unique and the abstract art means each owner can recognise something personal to themselves.

Sunlight Montmartre was inspired by a quiet corner of the Parisian 'village' of Montmartre, a little park next to the church of St Pierre where visitors can rest for a while listening to birdsong over the sounds of the city.

The starting point for Printemps was a lunch in Café Flo in Printemps on the Boulevard Haussmann where Hilary gazed at the incredible glass dome above. Made by Brière, the dome is made of 3,185 individual pieces of glass in the Art Nouveau style, filtering natural light through its blues, oranges, turquoises, greens and golds to light up the Café Flo beneath.

Les Deux Moulins
Les Deux Moulins is named for a café that in turn takes its name from the remaining two windmills of Montmartre - Moulin Rouge and Moulin de la Galette. This cafe was used as the bar in which Amélie (Audrey Tautou) worked in the excellent film - The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

The Henry Paddon Gallery is at 113 South Street. 
Open from 10:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Saturday.

Hilary Bravo's online Etsy shop is at

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