Still Life with Reflection, 2004
Cornelia Parker’s work has a sense of humour, but also a subtle spiritual quality that encourages the viewer to take a longer look. At Barts, Parker observes that the waiting room is, by its very nature, a limbo place where time and reality can feel suspended. On being asked to create an artwork for such a room with the potential of a captive audience, Parker felt the blank ceiling was the appropriate place for it to be located. As she explains, “The contemporary ceiling is usually a neglected empty space with no decoration, but further back in history, the ceiling was a popular site for art. In the lofty rooms of stately homes, eyes are taken upwards to enjoy the paintings or carvings that might adorn them. The artists who created them would often employ a technique known as trompe I’oeil, to trick the eye. Through the clever use of perspective, this would give an illusion of three dimensionality to what were in fact painted flat illusions or carved low relief’.
Parker was born in 1956 in Cheshire and educated at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and Reading University.