Bristol

Homer's Iliad poem stitched by Bristol student

  • 29 August 2014
  • From the section Bristol
University of Bristol PhD student Silvie Kilgallon
Student Silvie Kilgallon said the Iliad has always been "close to her heart"

A Bristol student is attempting to create a "visual translation in embroidery" of all 24 books of Homer's celebrated poem, the Iliad.

Silvie Kilgallon works on the piece in public places and documents her progress on her blog.

The conceptual artist said the Iliad was "close to her heart".

Homer is the name given to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major poems to have survived from Ancient Greece.

The texts - which seem to have been composed at some time between 750 and 650 BC - are seen as central to Western literature and culture.

The Iliad tells the story of the final year of the Trojan War, focusing on the activities of the Greek hero Achilles.

University of Bristol PhD student Silvie Kilgallon
Ms Kilgallon has assigned each letter of the ancient Greek alphabet a corresponding thread colour

Ms Kilgallon, a PhD student at the University of Bristol, said: "I started the project in response to a curator showing me a newly built, empty gallery space and asking me what I would put in it.

"Being a classicist I thought something epic. My mind immediately sprang to the Iliad."

Ms Kilgallon assigned each letter of the ancient Greek alphabet a corresponding colour in embroidery threads.

"Using the text as a pattern my aim is to stitch out all 24 books of the Iliad, with a single stitch representing a single letter in the text-pattern," she added.

"Hopefully when it is finally complete, it will be a work of spectacle, aesthetic beauty and complexity worthy of the title of epic."

University of Bristol PhD student Silvie Kilgallon
Ms Kilgallon said she hopes the final work would be "epic"

"The Iliad is a book of war, anger, and bloodshed, and those are all concepts that a contemporary audience associates with a red colour scheme," she added.

A spokeswoman from the University of Bristol said book one, which is already finished, will be hung in the student common room of the School of Humanities.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites