Cornelia Parker – Sugar Bowl (Thirty Pieces of Silver)

by fashionartbooks

As I mentioned in a previous post this week, I picked up some great artworks at this years Art Car Boot Fair in London. This one by Cornelia Parker, may just be my favourite though, I have wanted to own a piece by her for years so this was a great opportunity to buy a one off, unique, work. The piece is entitield Sugar Bowl and is a polaroid of one of the pieces from her Thirty Pieces of Silver sculpture. This work comprises over one thousand flattened silver objects that are arranged in to thirty circular groups that are suspended by wire from the ceiling; The piece is now owned by The Tate and can be seen here. Much of Parkers work revolves around the notion of destruction and rearrangement, previous works have seen an exploded shed reconfigured around a light bulb or a single silver spoon melted and stretched in to a wire the same height as Niagra Falls.

When the work was first shown at the Hayward Gallery in 1990, Parker described her thought process behind Thirty Pieces of Silver: “As a child I used to crush coins on a railway track – you couldn’t spend the money afterwards but you kept the metal slivers for their own sake, as an imaginative currency and as physical proof of the destructive powers of the world. I find the pieces of silver have much more potential when their meaning as everyday objects has been eroded. ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ is about materiality and then about anti-matter. In the gallery the ruined objects are ghostly levitating just above the floor, waiting to be reassessed in the light of their transformation. The title, because of its biblical references, alludes to money, to betrayal, to death and resurrection: more simply it is a literal description of the piece.”