Individually, David and Yuge Bromley are creative forces to be reckoned with. Together, as Bromley & Co, the pair are a creative maelstrom. Under the Bromley & Co banner the well-respected artist and his wife run two creative studios, galleries in both Australia and in China, a fashion label and a burgeoning event and interior design service which is transforming hospitality spaces, hotels and even luxury custom homes into 3D artworks.
Born in Sheffield, England, David Bromley immigrated to Australia with his family at the age of four. After first working as a potter, David emerged as a painter in the mid 80’s and has since become one of the most recognisable contemporary artists in Australia, whilst also receiving widespread acclaim and notoriety internationally. As he stated in an interview with The Weekly Review: “I want to be like Crowded House or the Beatles -everyone’s got one of those albums” and it seems he’s well on his way to achieving his goal.
As an artist, David has developed distinct themes and unique styles of painting, his best known being nude female portraits and his children’s series. Whatever the subject matter, his work is enduringly figurative, daringly coloured and executed with a graphic intention that is striking and memorable. More recently, David’s work has extended into sculpture, creating in both bronze and resin to bring to life the characters portrayed in his paintings. His work, both in painting and sculpture, has become integral to the key interior projects undertaken by Bromley & Co in recent years.
David’s wife, Yuge, who was born in Beijing and brought up in New Zealand, she worked as a lawyer whilst pursuing her passion for the arts and In 2012, she launched her own fashion label, Yugeyu, creating timeless pieces that blur the lines between art and fashion and often incorporating textiles designed by David.
Says David: “Like a farmer takes his intuition to the land and combines this with the pragmatic during the seasons, working hard and being creative every day is to us a language we speak together. When working together on numerous projects, we are each other’s Radar O’Reilly (think M*A*S*H), intuitively bouncing off each other.
“When we first met, we didn’t realise that neither of us slept much and found work more invigorating than socialising. The term ‘workaholic’ has been thrown around, but we disagree. With family at our core, we just do stuff together all the time. There are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, we measure a good day and night by how immersed we are in our creative adventure.”
The pair’s approach to interior design projects is fun, vibrant and flamboyant, creating immersive art installations to live in, rather than interiors with a few artworks displayed on the walls. As David explains, “Art is just as essential as cars, fridges and lawnmowers. It gives an inherent quality of life.”
“With a motley crew of collaborators/a family of friends we constantly seek to bring our passions, our drive and wide range of skills to everything we pursue, be it art, design, retail, interiors or construction. Combining an established and multi-faceted capability in design, with an ever-expanding web of passionate artists and artisans to create products and environments that we love to be surrounded in.”
The immediately recognisable Bromley child sculpture in the front garden of The Residence by Mazzei Homes in Melbourne in collaboration with Dan Webster Architecture and Nathan Burkett Landscape Design is an indication that Bromley & Co have been at work within.
“Released earlier this year, is our interior fit-out for Mazzei Homes in Balwyn North,” says Yuge. “As part of our work for this luxury display home, we were intimately involved in every facet and brought in in several customised design pieces including a 2.8 metre wide bronze wall relief featuring David’s iconic butterflies and birds in the main living area. We’ve also designed custom furniture pieces as well as curated an art collection for the home that not only gives the space a luxurious visual feast but somewhere people can feel entirely relaxed, at ease nestled in their nest.”
On a larger scale, Bromley & Co have been intimately involved with the West Village development in Brisbane by Sekisui House.
“Our work on this major development has extended across a variety of realms,” says Yuge, “from working with the developers, architects, landscape architects and lighting designers to evolving and finalising components of the precincts through to creating a 1300 square metre function space, The Bromley Room, and the build of a rooftop loft apartment, The Little Bromley Loft, which will be a drawcard for the development and something to introduce people to the residential component of the precinct before it officially launches stage one in November 2018.”
David and Yuge have also been engaged for the interior design and styling of other components in the precinct. “We will be back on site in April to work on the design and styling of the lobby and key entrance points for the first two residential towers, laneway activations, community engagement and art installations throughout the various beautiful and innovative park and green space areas.”
Then there’s the Pub With Two Names, a hotel like no other in Ballarat, Victoria. Here, Bromley &Co have created a uniquely art-centred experience within the 100-seat restaurant/dining/drinking area, adorning the space with paintings and sculpture reminiscent of their own studio spaces.
“We wanted to create an enveloping experience where locals and visitors alike can feel transported to a fanciful space within the heart of Ballarat,” say Yuge. “Upstairs we have created a series of five apartments, three of which are available for rent while two will remain as our own residence. We will truly be the artists in residence of the pub and be involved intimately in the curation and styling of all the spaces on a regular basis.
“The three apartments available for rent are a journey into the unexpected, imbued with an immense sense of exploration. The brief to ourselves when designing and decorating the apartments was Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole (adding a few mod cons along the way!).”
The original stables built in 1887 will become the setting for supremely unforgettable events. “Set to open later in 2018, the Stables will be the epitome of entering into another world,” says Yuge. “While the Stables has been styled and set in our Mad Hatter’s way, we are still working on some extra special surprises for its launch.”
Further afield, the irrepressible Bromleys have been busy in China, opening a gallery in Xiamen in 2016. Through the gallery space, the pair have launched a variety of other branches of their vision – participating in Xiamen international fashion week, hosting events for Bentley, collaborating with a number of Chinese artists and linking in with a major online retailer to launch a series of Bromley & Co stores in each key city in China.
Watch out world, art – and the unstoppable Bromleys – are coming soon to a space near you, creating realms of experience that excite, inspire, immerse and provoke with their curiouser and curiouser aesthetic full of life, whimsy, vibrant colour and insouciant disregard for all ‘rules’, trends and conventions. Bring it on Bromley & Co.