Sonya's view of 'intellectual art' is changed by Cornelia Parker's clever insights...
Last year I visited the Royal Academy’s Summer Open Exhibition and consequently wrote a blog entitled ‘To Shock or to Impress’ because I was dismayed at the choice of some pieces of work. They seem to hold very little artistic ability or quality compared to the prices they were demanding! This year was much the same but I was able to appreciate the diversity and smile at some of the selections knowing only too well about the subjectivity and controversy in the art world!
Then, I saw Cornelia’s Stolen Thunder III. I stopped, had to do a double take, and then as I approached and quizzically inspected the bizarre piece an envious smile crept across my face….
What a clever idea…we all moan and grumble about the apparent worth of a piece of art and this piece just laughs back!
Back in 2012 Cornelia Parker visited the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and took a clandestine photo of one of the most successful prints in the show. Every time a sale was made a red dot was added to the piece - and this one was doing so well the red dots had begun to inhabit the wall as well as the frame! Cornelia being an abstract artist, interested in displaying images representing ideas with astonishing verve, originality, depth and wit, saw this as an opportunity…
Digitally erasing the image she had photographed and ‘stolen’ she showed the photograph entitled ‘Stolen Thunder’ as her own work in the R.A. 2013 Summer Exhibition. Cornelia believed that the cool, shy greys and white would invite us in to a place where our own fantasies could flourish, allowing us to ask questions such as ‘what was the original picture’? ‘Does the original artist know it’s been wiped out and then resurrected?’ ‘What could you (or me) put in the blank space to take the world by storm?’ Cornelia kept the red spots as part of the picture, she said, ‘in the hope of accruing some of her own sales by a Pavlovian response from the audience’.
And it appears this has worked….she turned us all into dogs and two years later and she has continued to reproduce the image together with it’s accruing red dots, now in it’s third rendition.
For me, this piece freely admits to the subjectivity and irony of art selection. Viewers come to see what they believe will be technically brilliant and creatively inspiring pieces of artwork to find a piece that has sold 10 fold over other pieces in the exhibition with no image in it’s centre at all!
I love the irony of this piece, this simple yet powerful idea; the bold observational skills of Cornelia - to see the potential in what many of us would pass by. I also feel the desire in the piece…for me it represents the insatiable need that an artist has for it’s piece to be a success..to be covered in red dots and wanted by so many people. I think we can all relate to that desire to succeed and be noticed; and then to go on and consider owning this in your home? Well I have to say I can agree, it would be a talking piece. A snapshot in time of an artwork’s gestation and progression into fame…just for being invisible without form or identity…
Clever you Cornelia - you have helped me see why some art really can be because of the idea and the reaction it wields…and not the skill with a paint brush…
Learn more about Cornelia's inventive and quietly provocative work on this video, it may change your view also!
My working ethos is 'Play & Revelation' where I continually explore new ways of working, sometimes even destroying works to transform into new!
From February 2019 Sonya will be selling her collections at 'Leaf Creative' in Huntley, owned by Peter Dowle. This beautiful garden centre specialises in unusual shrubs, acer trees and hand selected plants. The perfect place to showcase her leaf inspired ceramics!
Sonya is pleased to announce that having been a provisional member with the Cotswold Craftsmen during 2018, she has now been accepted as a permanent member and invited to be publicity officer on the committee. Sonya will be exhibiting her work at a number of County Shows in 2019 - watch her events page for more upcoming details.
Sonya is now offering 1 day 'Pottery Workshops' with a national craft course provider. Start 2019 learning something new! In 1 day attentive tuition with Sonya you will learn throwing, coiling and hand-building techniques.
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