Cornelia Parker was born in Cheshire, England, in 1956. She studied at the Gloucestershire College of Art & Design and at Wolverhampton Polytechnic before receiving her MA in Fine Art from the University of Reading in 1982.
Parker’s art is about destruction, resurrection and reconfiguration. Demonstrating the importance of process, she frequently transforms objects by using seemingly violent techniques such as shooting, exploding, squashing, cutting and burning. Through these actions she both physically alters the object and she herself becomes an active participant in the development of its story.
Her first major solo exhibition, Thirty Pieces of Silver, took place at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 1988. Since then she has gone on to exhibit all over the world. Recent solo exhibitions include The Palace of Westminster, London (2018); Hayward touring exhibition, UK (2018/19); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2016); Whitworth Gallery, Manchester (2015); Terrace Wires Commission, St Pancras International Station, London (2015); British Library, London, touring to Whitworth Gallery, Manchester and Bodleian Library, Oxford (2015); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2014).
Parker’s work is held in numerous collections worldwide including Tate, London; British Council, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut.
In 1997 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2010. Parker was the UK’s official Election Artist for the 2017 general election, making several artworks that are now housed in the Government Art Collection.