Parker explores connections between objects and experiences, offering commentary on our world. She has extraordinary curiosity allied with humour and pathos.
Her art is often very beautiful and skilfully produced, something I also appreciate.
The space and shadows created by her sculptures are integral elements of the work as you can see in the two installations here: Thirty Pieces of Silver above and Cold Dark Matter below.
I enjoy the fact that Parker works in concept as much as drawing and with such variety of scale – she doesn’t need huge pieces to make a point. Much of what is on show is small, even domestic in size. Her work is also highly collaborative, drawing unexpected groups into her process.
Titles are very important as are sometimes the captions and she has written the texts in this show. Hearing from the artist direct makes the art so much more approachable.
Shared Fate (Oliver) below for example.
“This doll is Oliver Twist from the Charles Dickens novel. I used the guillotine that chopped off the head of French queen Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) to cut the doll in half, giving him another reason for his anguished expression.My little tweak of history caused a fictional character to share the same fate as a real queen. The guillotine is in the Chamber of Horrors at the waxwork museum set up by French sculptor Madame Tussaud.”
How’s that for context?
Some pieces need background information so the captions act as a launchpad to explore further.
” This is the residue excavated when carving words by hand into silver. I asked an engraver if he would save this leftover metal from his process. It took many months for him to make enough for this little heap. It represents the inverse both of his expertise and of the monument that is language.”
I know I’m well over my minute’s-worth of reading here but this is the last one for now.
“While I was on a residency in Texas, US, I asked the nearby rattlesnake farm if they could milk some snakes for me. they procured enough bright yellow venom to kill 10 people.I then approached a local doctor to prescribe an antidote.I combined the poison with black ink, and the anti-venom with white ink. In theory these drawings could poison you and save your life at the same time.”