Patricia de Isidoro knows more about 245 Hammersmith Road than most. Part of the original design team at architects Sheppard Robson, in 2016 Patricia decided to take a year out to pursue her artistic practice.
At her leaving drinks, a chance conversation sparked a chain of events that would lead to ‘3000 threads 3000 hands’ that crowns the entrance today. Simon Wilkes, the client at Legal & General, was so intrigued by Patricia’s plans for the year he suggested she develop a design proposal for a piece of artwork for the entrance to the building. He told her that if everyone liked her idea, they would commission it upon her return.
“Around this time, I was selected for an artist’s residency in Varanasi and a concept began to resonate with me,” Patricia explains. “As the only place in India that handcrafts sari’s using gold thread, I had this idea of the thread as an instrument for storytelling within a three-dimensional tapestry which I really wanted to explore.”
In India, Patricia witnessed the artisans at work and was amazed by the delicacy of their work. “It was a revelation,” she remarks. “So many pairs of hands contributed to the process of creating one single piece. As my research continued, I saw these hands beginning to merge with the threads themselves – as if each individual one connected the hand and the act of weaving. The looms became both natural sculptures and three dimensional physical connectors.”
Recording her research with hand-drawn illustrations in her sketchbook, Patricia decided the piece for 245 Hammersmith Road would be a homage to all the hands involved in the crafting of the building. “I saw a parallelism between the build process and the weaving and wanted to create something that would bring all the individual traces to life. A window into the soul of the building, threading people together as a living sculpture.”