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An artist who destroys: Cornelia Parker



By: Alice Li


Artists are ones who create, whether it be music, dance, or visual art. But Cornelia Parker, a British artist, instead uses explosives to destroy objects and create her arresting and strangely beautiful art.


The origin of her art can be found in when she was a little girl. Her father was physically abusive, and she received nearly no playtime. Parker used to place coins on railroad tracks and watch them getting smashed and destroyed. This action was destructive and beautiful in her eyes, and sparked what she felt was art.


Since 1990, Parker has been creating the most striking artworks in contemporary art by using explosives, steamrollers, snake venom, and many other objects. One of her artworks, “Thirty Pieces of Silver”, was made by crushing more than 1,000 silver objects using a steamroller. Then, she separated these delicate and broken pieces into polished pools of rubble, or “discs”, and hung them from wires just a few inches off the ground.


The most famous of her artworks, “Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View”, was made by suspending dozens of shattered pieces of a blown-up garden shed. This piece of art looks as if time froze itself, with the garden shed exploding. It feels as if the energy from the explosion hangs in the air, and viewers catch their breath waiting for the pieces to fall.

Cornelia Parker is an extraordinary artist, with her own twist of creativity in her art. She found what she loved and created for others to see. Her work is to be admired and appreciated.

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