Two new works by acclaimed British artist Cornelia Parker have gone on show this month in London. They are on show in neighbouring London landmark locations and both can be seen for free! One More Time was unveiled this morning, Thursday 28th May 2015, at St Pancras International and the other, Magna Carta (An Embroidery) opened earlier in May at The British Library.
One More Time by Cornelia Parker is the latest commission in the Terrace Wires series of artworks to be suspended from the iconic Barlow Shed roof of St Pancras International. Terrace Wires is a highly visible programme for public art and one of the rotational public art spaces in London that includes The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
At St Pancras International the Terrace Wires series offers 48 million travellers each year the chance to experience the latest contemporary art as they pass through the station. Each artwork is suspended for six months at a time. This latest from Cornelia Parker is the third in the series, following Lucy+Jorge Orta’s Cloud: Metéoros and, most recently, David Batchelor’s colourful Chromolocomotion. Terrace Wires recently announced a new partnership with The Royal Academy of Arts and this work by Royal Academician Cornelia Parker is the first to be selected under this new collaboration.
Cornelia Parker’s work, One More Time (2015), is a working replica of the station’s DENT London clock, reversed out in black with white hands and numerals and silver detail. The black clock is suspended 16 metres in front of the original so for those alighting from the trains the original face will gradually appear eclipsed.
Cornelia Parker RA said the work is conceived to invoke meditative thoughts on the passage of time, life and mortality. “The clock is the most conscious focus of a railway station, a dominant force. Everyone is watching the clock, checking if they are late. The piece will introduce the idea of a parallel frame of reference, that of a slower astronomical time” Parker said.
The second high-profile work by Cornelia Parker is Magna Carta (An Embroidery), on display at the British Library as part of this year’s celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Cornelia Parker’s major embroidery installation is a 13 metre-long embroidery that depicts the Magna Carta Wikipedia page as it appeared last year on the famous document’s 799th birthday. “I love the idea of taking something digital and making it into an analogue, hand-crafted thing”, says the artist.
The work has been stitched by over 200 carefully selected individuals, many of whom have a connection to civil liberties and the law including almost 40 prisoners. Each selected person has stitched the words or phrases significant to them – Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti stitched the words ‘Charter of Liberties’, Baroness Doreen Lawrence stitched ‘justice’, ‘denial’ and ‘delay’, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales embroidered the words ‘user’s manual’ and Jarvis Cocker stitched ‘Common People’.
A host of other public figures, peers, campaigners, politicians and lawyers helped stitch the new artwork but the bulk of the text of the Wikipedia page was embroidered in various prisons by inmates under the supervision of Fine Cell Work, a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework. The detailed pictures, emblems and logos that punctuate the text were embroidered by the highly skilled members of the Embroiderers’ Guild, a national charity that promotes and encourages the art of embroidery and related crafts, alongside embroiderers from the Royal School of Needlework and the leading embroidery company Hand & Lock.
One More Time by Cornelia Parker
St Pancras International
Magna Carta (An Embroidery) by Cornelia Parker
The British Library