Porta Romana at The Royal Academy of Arts
‘I love this place’ Sarah Hills, co-Founder of Porta Romana said smiling, ‘I am surrounded by my people’.
We were in the bustling members’ cafe at the RA, having arrived early, before our meeting with the then President, Christopher Le Brun later that afternoon.
Whilst 2018 marked a three-decade history for Porta Romana, the RA were planning a much bigger birthday: 250 years of art and artists. They had recently announced their masterplan to design a transformative re-development uniting their two buildings Burlington House on Piccadilly, with Burlington Gardens. Sarah suggested making a donation, in the form of an exquisite one-off installation, created by Porta Romana.
The President enthusiastically explained the RA’s plans to expand, creating new spaces for exhibitions and debate. We spent a delightful afternoon behind the scenes, exploring the best possible location for our installation.
We settled on the Shaw Staircase, designed by the renowned Architect John Shaw, positioned outside The President’s office. The grand double-height space would provide the perfect backdrop for a collection of five Urchin Chandeliers, designed by Sarah Hills. Our devoted team of artists, pulled out all the stops to decorate the sculptural tendrils of folded steel, dedicating twenty-three hours to each of the five Chandeliers.
Today we are extremely honoured, a piece of Porta Romana hangs in an institution of such importance continuing the Porta Romana legacy.