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Art HERstory: Cornelia Parker


 
Cornelia Parker hard at work assembling on of her sculptures. I LOVE this lady and her work!

Cornelia Parker hard at work assembling on of her sculptures. I LOVE this lady and her work!

You ever have a friend run up to you giddy with excitement because they have the greatest tidbit of information to share with you? If not, today is your lucky day. I’m that friend and I’m doing the ‘you gotta know this’ jig. I was put on to one of the most amazing artists ever, and by artist I don’t mean painter. Cornelia Parker has taken art in a whole ‘nother direction. It’s different and confusing, therefore I love it.

 

"Breathless." Ha! Pun intended! Instruments. Breathless. Get it?

"Breathless." Ha! Pun intended! Instruments. Breathless. Get it?

Too bad the States can’t claim this artistic genius. Cornelia was born in Cheshire, England in 1956. She studied at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design (1974–75) and Wolverhampton Polytechnic (1975–78). Once those studies were over and done with, Cornelia immediately returned to the classroom setting and went on to receive her MFA from Reading University in 1982. Eventually she was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Wolverhampton in 2000 and the University of Birmingham in 2005.

 

"Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View" (1991). These planks were once a part of a garden shed that was blown up by the British Army for Cornelia's artistic use.

"Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View" (1991). These planks were once a part of a garden shed that was blown up by the British Army for Cornelia's artistic use.

Cornelia’s work is quite complex and may even make you tilt your head in confusion. Nonetheless, her work is absolutely effing amazing! Her style incorporates her need to capture things in their final moments of existence. This need is what makes Cornelia’s work so unique. Many of her constructions are created specifically for a time, place, and event. “Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View” is one such construction. If you look closely at the components of the piece, you will notice it is charred pieces of wood. Cornelia had the British Army explode a shed and she used the burned rubble for art. The pieces are suspended around a central light source so the planks will cast shadows on the wall. Pretty cool huh?

 

"Edge of England." These white rocks are actually stones of chalk retreived from a cliff fall at Beatch Head, South Downs, England.

"Edge of England." These white rocks are actually stones of chalk retreived from a cliff fall at Beatch Head, South Downs, England.

“I resurrect things that have been killed off… My work is all about the potential of materials – even when it looks like they’ve lost all possibilities.”

"Feather that went to the Top of Everest" (1997). This photograph is of a feather from the jacket of Rebecca Stevens, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest.

"Feather that went to the Top of Everest" (1997). This photograph is of a feather from the jacket of Rebecca Stevens, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest.

 Of everything Cornelia created, I think the most memorable work has to be “Feather that went to the Top of Everest.” This photograph is out of Cornelia’s realm, but still fits her need to capture memories before the fade forever. The picture is of a single feather. Well, this particular feather was taken from the jacket of Rebecca Stevens, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest. Cornelia chose to photograph this feather because of its irony. White is normally accociated with immaturity and fear. Not with this feather. Its reached heights and endured conditions birds cannot stand. See, double irony.

"Fleeting Monument." This sculpture is meant to look like the individual pieces of the monument are scattering in different directions.

"Fleeting Monument." This sculpture is meant to look like the individual pieces of the monument are scattering in different directions.

The works of Cornelia Parker have been displayed and adored in various parts of the world. She still actively creates, but most of her time is spent in the classroom. She is a Professor of Conceptual Art at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

Image Layout: Phaymiss

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One Response to “Art HERstory: Cornelia Parker”

  1. C-Rocka says:

    “Edge Over England” is just gorgeous! Love Mz. Corneila’s work, it is truly breathtaking.

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