I resurrect things that have been killed off. My work is all about the potential of materials – even when it looks like they’ve lost all possibilities.
Perpetual Canon is an installation by Cornelia Parker RA. It is made up of sixty flattened instruments once belonging to a brass band. The artwork will be installed in Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery which overlooks the North Sea.
Cornelia Parker is known for her sculptures and installations that explore the potential of matter, often subjecting commonplace objects to processes such as crushing, wrapping, exploding or dropping. Here, a collection of compressed trumpets, cornets, tubas and other instruments are silenced. In Parker’s words: ‘the band may be winded, but they’re not down and out: they’re still marching.’
A canon is a piece of music where a melody is played and imitated after a short delay. Perpetual Canon was originally created for an exhibition in the North East of England, a region associated with industries such as coal mining and its tradition of brass bands, described by Parker as ‘an anthem that is slowly winding down’.
Cornelia Parker has collaborated with numerous institutions such as HM Customs & Excise, Royal Armouries, Madame Tussauds and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She was the official Election Artist in 2017 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. She was elected a Royal Academician in 2009.