Giles Penny - Man with Arms Open (1995)

Giles Penny - Man with Arms Open (1995)

Head thrown back and arms outstretched, the oversized figure could be in ecstasy or despair.


Giles Penny’s bronze figure stands among the trees in the centre of West India Avenue.

The sculpture prompts debate: is the man looking for inspiration, worshipping a supreme being or simply soaking up the sunshine?

Man With Open Arms is one of two sculptures by Penny bought after the Shape Of The Century exhibition in 2000. The other, Two Men On a Bench can be found by the string of restaurants on Mackenzie Walk.

Penny’s fans include the late Anita Roddick who commissioned a number of sculptures for The Body Shop’s headquarters.

Trained in formal painting, Penny also works in relief, a practice he believes to be halfway between the mediums of painting and sculpture. His sculptures are typically figurative, often possessing an innocent, humorous quality.