penelope odyssey

Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre


A visual analysis of Homer’s Odyssey

Penelope/Odyssey is a new series of twenty-four drawings comprising a visual analysis of Homer’s Odyssey. McCarthy researched variant versions, textual, spoken and pictorial to challenge assumptions about how a text may be ‘known’ and presented. The research juxtaposes different versions of Homer’s work in a single collection that reanimates the narrative.

Two works, The Odyssey (last page) and Ulysses (Penelope Text), were included in the exhibition Ulysse(s): L’autre mer, a group exhibition celebrating thirty years of the Fonds Régionale d’Art Contemporain (FRAC), Rennes, France, 17h May – 25 August 2013, curated by Catherine Elkar, Marcel Dinahet, and Jean-Marc Huitorel.

Penelope/Odyssey was nominated for the Northern Art Prize in 2011. Ulysses (Penelope Text) was nominated for the inaugural Derwent Art Prize and shown at the Mall Galleries, London, September 2013 and The Pencil Museum, Cumbria 1st December- 13th January 2014.

This research was presented as a paper at the Words/Worlds cross-disciplinary conference on text-based work at Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University in May 2013. McCarthy’s solo performance of variant versions of The Odyssey was included in Ex Libris at Site Gallery, Sheffield in March 2009. Water, a paper was presented at The Four Elements, Henry Moore Institute Leeds on 25th March 2009.

Researchers involved

Penny McCarthy - Senior Lecturer, Fine Art

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