Cornelia Parker is a contemporary British sculptor and installation artist. Working in a wide variety of media, Parker’s work frequently features destructive amalgamations of household objects that have been layered, broken, or repurposed into new structures. Some of her best-known works are Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991), a garden shed frozen at the moment of explosion surrounding a single lightbulb, and Thirty Pieces of Silver (2011), a large-scale installation of suspended and flattened silver objects including teapots, candlesticks, and dinnerware.
Parker describes her work as both darkly humorous and ironic, and cites Marcel Duchamp as a source of inspiration. Born in 1965 in Chesire, England, she studied at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, later receiving her MFA from Reading University in 1982. Her work has been the focus of numerous solo exhibitions around the world, including at Serpentine Gallery in London, the ICA Boston, and the Galeria Civica de Arte Moderna in Turin, among others. In 2016, her site-specific installation Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) was featured on the Metropolitan Museum’s rooftop garden in New York, featuring a full-scale façade replica of the mansion in Alfred Hitchcock’s film 1960 Psycho.
Cornelia Parker named as official artist of 2017 general election. Turner-nominated RA member, who will produce work of art about election, is first woman to take on role created in 2001
Much of her work has a political element. In 2015, her Magna Carta went on a UK tour celebrating the 800th anniversary of the original’s creation – a 13-metre rendering of the Wikipedia entry on the charter as an embroidery, hand-stitched by hundreds of people including the whistleblower Edward Snowden, the musician Jarvis Cocker, as well as campaigners and activists, politicians and prisoners.
Parker, who was one of the signatories of a letter backing Caroline Lucas – but not specifically the Green party – in the last election, said: “We live in scary but exhilarating times. The whole world order seems to be changing. As an artist, I feel honoured to have been invited to respond to such an important election. With all its challenging issues and complexity, it is an event that I’m excited to engage with and I look forward to sharing my finished work.”
She has been chosen by the Speaker’s advisory committee on works of art, which had expected to have several more years to ponder the selection. Alison McGovern MP, chair of the committee, said: “I am delighted that my committee has chosen Cornelia Parker as parliament’s official 2017 election artist. She’s the first woman artist to take on this role and it’ll be really exciting to see how her ideas for this artwork develop over the campaign period.
Courtesy The Guardian