Artist
Cornelia Parker
English artist

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Cornelia Parker
English artist
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Date of Birth

July 14, 1956

Place of Birth

United Kingdom

More about Cornelia Parker

csquier's picture

Contributor

Bang Bang Bang! It’s not just that forehead fringe that’s dynamite. Cornelia Parker has incorporated explosions into her work since she was turned down by all the big art schools in England and turned failure into her new M.O. 

Apparently, it runs in the family. Parker’s dad never dated a girl until he was 34 and met her mother, who herself was still shaken from the psychological backlash of a nursing job in the ranks of Nazi Germany. At first, Parker was just accidentally terrible at technical work. Now, she embraces it. 

She tossed the painting career, along with a bevy of antiques off the Cliffs of Dover, thrown over for the sake of art.  Obsessed with Tom and Jerry-style deaths, she went full out for the guns-blazing, bombs-bursting lifestyle.  This meant going straight to the explosives source- the British Army. Parker casually asked them to detonate a garden shed for her and, for some reason, they graciously cooperated.  

Since then, Parker’s been busy indulging her inner demons. She’s been exploding, steamrolling and pulverizing everything within reach, cackling at her own stunts. Her love of the combustible may have even influenced her choice of husband, a real-deal Texan artist (whose gun-slinging must have been part of winning her heart).

Ever the trouble maker, she once borrowed a roomful of Turner watercolors from a major museum to put on a show of just the backs of the paintings.  Afterwards, she even got the museum to file them all under her own name instead of the original artist's.

There might be more to that inner demon thing, too. During her pregnancy with her daughter, Parker bought the nightgown worn by Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby and was prepared to don it for her own bloody birth. Alas, she reports, just a couple sizes too small!

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Ann Parker OBE, RA (born 14 July 1956) is an English visual artist, best known for her sculpture and installation art.

Life and career

Parker was born in 1956 in Cheshire, England. She studied at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design (1974–75) and Wolverhampton Polytechnic (1975–78). She received her MFA from Reading University in 1982 and honorary doctorates from the University of Wolverhampton in 2000, the University of Birmingham (2005), the University of Gloucestershire (2008) and the University of Manchester (2017).

In 1997, Parker was shortlisted for the Turner Prize along with Christine Borland, Angela Bulloch, and Gillian Wearing (who won the prize). Parker is currently Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester and between 2016 and 2019 was Visiting Fellow at Lady Margaret HallOxford. She was appointed Honorary Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2020.

Parker is married, has one daughter, and lives and works in London. Parker's mother was German and was a nurse in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Her British grandfather fought in the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.

Cornelia Parker's first solo museum exhibition was at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston in 2000.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Cornelia Parker.