These brooches were designed by Deborah Crow as part of the Transport for London brooch competition and exhibition based on the TubeFlash project. In 2017 TfL joined forces with Craft Central to hold a competition to design new brooches for sale as part of the TfL product range. The winning brooches were part of the exhibition held at Craft Central along side many of the TubeFlash brooches from my personal collection – The Brooch is Back Exhibition
During the late 1950s Victor Galbraith drew a series of posters designed to encourage people to stagger their travel times and avoid overcrowding. Deborah took one of Victor Galbraith’s posters as the inspiration for her bowler hatted and suited city gents. The brooches are made of acrylic.
‘Please Avoid the Rush Hour Travel’ by Victor Galbraith 1957
There were 12 jewellers in total picked to be part of the ‘Brooch is Back’ exhibition. Sally Lees produced three brooches taking the iconic London Underground roundel as her starting point. Here is the one for Regents Park and London Zoo. The brooch has prints of flamingos and is made from polished aluminium, hand dyed a shocking pink.
Between 1957 and 1966 Victor Galbraith produced several posters for London Transport; another one I particularly like is from 1960 advertising sightseeing bus tours. It is wonderfully colourful and clearly depicts many of London’s famous landmarks and red buses.
Victor emigrated to Australia in May 1966. On leaving England Bryce Beaumont, the publicity manager for London Transport wrote to Victor thanking him for his work over the years. He wishes the artist the best of luck in his new fields.
Amazingly there is a copy of this letter dated 11th May 1966. Victor died in 2001 in his new adopted land.
Deborah Crow’s current collection is entitled ‘War Without Tears’. The collection offers a comment on war and its ultimate futility. A plastic soldier is the starting point for the designs, played with by children the world over. Deborah uses it as a metaphor for the lost childhoods of the youngest of those caught up in the atrocities and the toys they left behind. It was on seeing images during the Syrian conflict and the suffering of refugees, especially the plight of children caught up in a conflict they couldn’t possibly understand. One image in particular of a child crawling under coils of razor wire formed the nucleus of the idea from which the collection grew.
One of the brooches from the ‘War Without Tears’ collection. The image also reminds me of WWI soldiers crawling through barbed wire on the Western Front.