Cornelia Parker portrait, photo Jeff McMillan
Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker is a British sculptor and installation artist who lives and works in London. Born in Cheshire, she studied sculpture at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and Reading University.  In the late 1980s she began making installations using materials that had often been subjected to violent acts of transformation. 

In Parker’s hands, nothing is stable. Solid objects fall apart, collide, combust and are crushed, only to re-emerge from these acts of violence in new and surprising forms. ‘I like to take man-made objects and push them to the point where they almost lose their reference’, she says, ‘so that they become something else, take on other alliances’.

Sometimes the act of transformation is spectacularly destructive, as when she flattened a pile of silver plate with a steamroller. At other times, in her photograms of feathers for instance, it is gentle and fugitive. Parker rearranges the physical world on her own singular terms, using it to reference the fragility of human experience and finding poetry in the most prosaic of objects.

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