Cornelia Parker

Born in Cheshire, England, in 1956, Cornelia Parker studied at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design and at Wolverhampton Polytechnic before receiving an M.A. from the University of Reading in 1982. Parker first came to public attention through her early exhibitions, with a body of work combining a fascination with material culture and popular iconography. Parker was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010.

Parker's art is about destruction, resurrection and reconfiguration. Demonstrating the importance of process, she frequently transforms objects by using seemingly violent techniques such as shooting, exploding, squashing, cutting and burning. Through these actions she both physically alters the object and she herself becomes an active participant in the development of its story.

She has been concerned with formalizing forces beyond our control, containing the volatile and transforming it into something that is quiet and contemplative. She is fascinated with processes in the world that mimic cartoon ‘deaths’ – steamrollering, shooting full of holes, falling from cliffs and explosions.
Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions, her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations, which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary. Working with sculpture and installation, as well as embroidery, drawing, photography and film, Parker positions her subjects at the very moment of their transformation, suspended in time and completely still.