Our favourites – ‘Penelope’

Penelope 1

As recommended by Mary Colston, Director

By Jorge Pardo at Wostenholme Square in the Rope Walks area. This massive sculpture has ten giant weaving stalks ending in brightly coloured plexi glass spheres all illuminated at night. Pardo had two inspirations: the historical significance of the area itself, where long ropes were laid out in the surrounding streets to be dried and plated for the ships’ rigging and secondly, in Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses’ faithful wife Penelope patiently waits for his return from the Trojan wars. She spurns persistent suitors by weaving all day and unravelling her work at night. A jolly name for a piece of public art, that itself makes me smile. I detour on my journey into town to walk under her, she thrills me. The square can get pretty lively with music and happenings and she cavorts alongside any revellers.