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Cornelia Parker

Born 1956 in Cheshire; she studied at Gloucestershire College of Art (1974-75), Wolverhampton Polytechnic (1975-78) and Reading University (1982).

Cornelia Parker is a sculptor and installation artist; her work frequently takes the form of large-scale installations which involve dramatic transformations of objects and materials which have an implied history. For her striking and original work Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) she arranged for a garden shed to be blown up at the Army School of Ammunition; she then suspended the shattered and charred remnants in a gallery arranged in a ghostly shape of the original. The title refers to a scientific term for matter in the universe which can’t normally be seen.

Other works have made use of historic objects and artworks such as stockings owned by Queen Victoria, JMW Turner’s watercolour box and Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss, which she wrapped in a mile of string. These interventions not only draw on the power of these objects but provoke in the viewer his or her personal associations and ideas.

Parker’s work has been exhibited in and acquired by many major galleries throughout the world; she was shortlisted for the Turner prize in 1997.

The Spider that died in the Tower of London