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Meet The Maker: Hermione Skye

Hermione Skye is the artist behind our famous loom weaves that hang above reception in Ham Yard Hotel in London and The Whitby Hotel in New York. We discovered Hermione at her graduate show at the Chelsea College of Art. Her loom artworks represent our love of textiles, texture and colour.

British-born, alumni of Millfield School and Chelsea College of Art and Design, Hermione is a multi-media artist who has lived and worked in London, Kyoto and Helsinki amongst other places.

We caught up with Hermione as part of our Meet The Maker series to find out more about her famous colour thread artworks, her sources of inspiration and her next projects…

The art path is not an easy one. How did you become an artist?

Since an early age, I was creating things, and found that I was also able to sell them. That isn’t why I became an artist but it gave me the confidence to continue. Since discovering the utterly joyous sensation of creativity from a young age, there was no doubt about what path I wished to follow. I went on to explore different mediums from painting, sculpture and textiles. I have recently stretched in to design and even baking, but I approach both with the same attitude as if I was making an artwork.

How did you come up with your famous colour thread installations?

I took a textiles design degree, focussing on weaving – I wished to acquire new technical skills. Discovering the world of a loom was extraordinary, I connected to so many philosophical layers as I became familiar with the mechanisms of weaving, as well as the world of colour and pattern available within such an ancient technique.

Soon, my need to express something deeper couldn’t be contained on the looms, so I took the principles of weaving and developed a larger architectural form.  Kit coined it ‘The Loom’ when she first commissioned one for Ham Yard Hotel after seeing it at my degree show, and then for The Whitby Hotel when it opened in 2017.

And how were you inspired to create ‘The Loom’ at Ham Yard Hotel?

The Ham Yard Hotel installation was totally inspired by Kit’s vibrant and colourful interiors. Having initially designed a monotone ‘loom’, I brought in pinks, peaches, oranges and yellows to liven up the artwork and make statement over the reception desk. The structure of the loom follows the Fibonacci sequence which provides a ‘frame’ from which I can design a loom with a sense of harmony. The hanging weights are an important part because they represent the tension needed to create a woven piece of cloth; they also add another dimension of movement and fun.

We heard you’ve recently been working in Indonesia, what have you been doing there?

I was asked to design the entirety of a rooftop restaurant and also an outdoor café – it was such fun and I ended up becoming much more involved in the process of running both places. The café was all white with flowing curtains blowing in the wind to give a sense of calm in what was an incredibly busy city.

The rooftop restaurant was much more colourful, it included a few smaller looms and murals, custom design ceramics, textiles I picked up in Uzbekistan, salvaged furniture and I even designed the cocktails.

Mural and part of a loom in the Lobby of the Jakarta restaurant. ’Simurgh and Giraffe'

What are your sources of inspiration?

Nature of course is an important source. I was recently inspired by the beautiful autumn colours shifting on the landscape.

An outdoor mural in Norfolk called ‘Make me smile’

I also feel something very powerful in ancient art… from Italian mosaics to Greek ceramics or Minoan murals. All of these feed my creative thoughts.

Six panel artwork on raw linen - a recreation of an ancient mosaic relic in the basilica Aquileia, Italy.

What are your next projects? 

Since coming back to the UK, after the obscurity of the pandemic and having been away for quite a long time, I am taking my time to develop a new series of paintings and murals based on a ‘trompe l’oeil mosaic’ technique.  I have also been working with Kit, Minnie and the Firmdale design team which is always inspiring and I hope continues!

Ceiling mural and very fine threaded ‘loom’ - in my atelier in Helsinki.
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