Parker is the maverick ideas woman of British art, who came to fame exhibiting Tilda Swinton in a glass case, and showed the backs of Turner’s paintings as her own work. A bright-eyed 53 year-old, her speech a quicksilver crackle of ideas and images punctuated with gusts of
laughter, she has made a speciality of attacking things: shooting a pearl necklace from a revolver, stretching bullets into wire and making drawings out of them and, most famously, having a shed detonated by the Royal Artillery in her signature piece Cold Dark Matter. Is there some deep-seated anger and frustration behind all this?
“There’s a lot of violence in the making of these things, but a quiet aftermath. I take things that are worn out through overuse, that have become clichés, like the shed, a traditional place of rest and retreat, and I give them a more
incandescent future. Explosions are very familiar from films and the news, but how many of us have seen one or even touched a piece of the debris?”
Parker took the shards of the shed and its contents, reassembling and hanging them in space, with a central light throwing dramatic shadows onto the walls and viewer – “almost as though they were coming back together, so you could experience the damage from a quiet place”. And she wanted it to have cosmic resonance implied in the title: a relation to the Big Bang.
“My work has threads of ideas from all over the place. I try to crystallise them in something simple and direct that the viewer can then take where they want.”