Alice Kettle’s Odyssey is a stitched response to Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.

The huge canvas, on the scale of a medieval tapestry, provides scope for the cinematic narrative to unfold, with two parts of the story being told in this single work.

Kettle’s canvas shows the stitched figure of Odysseus on the left and his wife Penelope on the right, against a painterly embroidered backdrop. The piece illustrates the story of Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War, during which Penelope attempts to protect herself from suitors until his return. To do this she cunningly agrees to accept one of them, but only after she has finished weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’ father, Laertes. However, each night she unpicks her work so that the shroud is never finished.

Kettle trained first as a painter and later studied textiles at Goldsmiths in London. She is now celebrated for her experimental work in the medium and is represented in many public collections both in Britain and abroad.


The artist

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