Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker is an English sculpture and installation artist. The concept behind a lot of her work is to do with gravity; how she captures gravity and freezes it, so to speak, is a really fascinating part of her work.

Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991

This installation was exhibited in the Tate in 1991. The sculpture is a mid-explosion restoration of a shed that was blown up by the army (requested by the artist). It is sort of frozen in time. The surviving parts of the shed were then assembled and hung from the ceiling where Parker uses a single light bulb to light up the room. The shadows from the remaining parts create a dramatic effect as the light bulb becomes epicenter of the explosion. The space itself also becomes part of the explosion where the shadows indicate the scale of the blast. The space also contains the explosion itself, kind of like a parameter that the army would have used to contain it – a safe explosion.

Words That Defy Gravity (1992)

Parker uses the outdoor space as part of her sculpture and concept. She made words that are the dictionary definition of gravity and out of lead and threw them off the White Cliffs of Dover where they plummeted to the ground. With her hands and arms suspended momentarily with the word specific hanging in the air, this photograph was taken whilst Parker threw the words off the cliff edge.

To complete the artwork Parker collected up the pieces of led and assembled them together and hung them from the ceiling to hovering just above the floor. She said that ‘The words got made illegible by real gravity’.


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