Cornelia Parker: “If museums disappeared what would we do?”


We’re delighted that artist Cornelia Parker is offering a limited-edition print as a reward for donors to our #TogetherForMuseums crowdfunding campaign.

Composition with Ice is only available through the campaign, in a limited edition of 40. Today Cornelia tells us the story behind this striking work of art, and why it’s so important that we come together to support museums at this time.

Art Fund: What motivated you to get behind the campaign – why are you standing #TogetherForMuseums?

Cornelia Parker: I wanted to offer support to an organisation which gives help to museums to find their feet during and after the pandemic. Museums large and small have helped me so much throughout my development as an artist. If museums disappeared what would we do and where would it leave us?

Could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your print Composition with Ice, which you’re kindly offering as a reward in support of the campaign?

I am interested in the idea of a calculated accident, a formalised explosion, a bullet that can go round corners. My photogravure Composition with Ice is titled to suggest that the subject of the print is formally arranged, which it isn’t at all. Instead the print records a random moment when the ice connected with the plate. The ice chemically interacted with the compounds on the photogravure plate and when printed came out as black. A glass of black ice tumbling.

What do museums mean to you?

Museums have always meant so much to me. My journey as an artist started at the age of 15, visiting the Tate on a student trip. It made a huge impression on me (I was into Salvador Dalí at the time) and decided that one day I was going to become an artist.

Thank you for supporting #TogetherForMuseums. If you haven’t already donated, take a look at the rewards on offer and learn more about the campaign.

Your support will help museums respond to the challenges of Covid-19, and reimagine a brighter future.

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