Cornelia Parker exhibition in the MCA

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Cornelia Parker is a renowned British artist and we were lucky to attend her exhibition while in Sydney. It was a fabulous experience because all the installations evoked a response without the need to read the explanatory information; that just made the pieces even more special. To make the installation shown above, called Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, she arranged for the British Army to blow up a garden shed and then reconstituted the shed in space. It is a very powerful peice, thanks to the single light source at its centre. Apparently it took 20 people four weeks to install this piece following Parker’s specific instructions.


Subconscious of a Monument is made of earth removed from underneath the Leaning Tower of Pisa, when its tilt was being reduced in 2001. The pieces of earth are suspended from the ceiling.

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To mark the 800th birthday of the Magna Carta, she embroidered the Wikipedia page describing the Magna Carta, giving it a feeling of the Bayeux Tapestry. Specific words had been hand embroidered by eminant persons, to give special meaning to the text. The resulting Magna Carta (An Embroidery) certainly makes you stop and think. An old friend of mine was one of the contributors but she could not remember the word/s she had embroidered.




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The War Room was made about the 1914-18 Great War, using the rolls of red paper with perforations where the poppies, used on Remembrance Day, had been punched out. The tent-like shape is reminiscent of the tents used in Tudor times where royal military negotiations occured. Photographs do not do justice to installations like this, you have to be there to ‘feel’ it.



The last major installation was Thirty Pieces of Silver using items made of silver-plate which had been flattened by a steam roller. It was so elegant with the lights bouncing off the wires at the top of the installation, yet so perverse.

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© Helen Gray 2020