The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple by Pete Ellis

Pete Ellis

Wool, synthetic fabric, spandex 2005

In The Odd Couple Ellis has created socks on such an epic scale - nine foot from top to toe - that they will never become separated or lost. To make them, he taught himself the traditional, physically laborious technique of rag rug making. The Odd Couple is a tribute to the ornate, elaborate objects that fill the Lady Lever Art Gallery, especially the sculpture Salammbo near the Gallery's entrance.It is also his homage to the intricate Gobelins and Mortlake tapestries in the collection that celebrate the sport of royalty or Greek myths. For Ellis, it is instead a banal, single sock that is elevated to such heroic proportions as a symbol of universal domesticity and of his working class childhood.

Additional sewing by Cilla Cameron, The Rug Studio, Oxton