Cornelia Parker: Thatcher's Finger, 2018 - Audiovisual

Cornelia Parker: Thatcher's Finger, 2018

12 May 2020 – 18 May 2020

Cornelia Parker

Political Abstract

When I was invited by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art to be the official Election Artist for the 2017 snap election, one of the attractions for me was access; to be able to literally work inside Parliament while trying to grasp the conundrum that is today’s democracy. I tried to create a body of works that reflect this very particular moment in electoral history, to offer another perspective.

I enjoyed the challenge of aiming to be a non-partisan witness; if I recorded something right wing it had to be countered with something left, something red by something blue. The campaign colour coding of the various parties bled into my unconscious and I began seeing the political spectrum played out everywhere I looked. The street signs, rubbish in the streets, paint spills, coffee stains took on extra significance, and were duly recorded on my Instagram feed. I feared I was suffering from ‘Election Syndrome’. It’s ironic that after all my years of consciously avoiding social media, being Election Artist was what finally forced my hand. Now I am fighting an Instagram addiction, it has become my daily sketchbook.

We are living through politically turbulent times and this election was no exception, it was full of twists and turns. Brexit loomed large, and it was impossible to ignore the tragedies that occurred during and just after the election period, the terrorist attacks on Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester stadium and of course the fire at Grenfell Tower, but I wanted to reflect the ongoing social issues and human stories that I witnessed. As a maverick member of the press pack whilst following the campaign trail, I also found myself observing the press itself.

Cornelia Parker

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Left Right & Centre, 2017


9 mins 32 secs

Originally commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, chaired by Alison McGovern MP

Sound Design - Graeme Miller

Election Abstract, 2018


3 mins 9 secs

Originally commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, chaired by Alison McGovern MP

Thatcher's Finger, 2018


3 mins 34 secs

Director of Photography - Joseph Turp

Lighting - Harry Dwyer

Editor – John Smith

Producer – Caroline Smith

Director - Cornelia Parker

The statue of Baroness Thatcher was created by Antony Dufort and is situated in Members’ Lobby in the House of Commons

The artist is grateful to the The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, for permission to film; to the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art for approval to use this footage in this artwork; and to the staff of the Curator’s Office at the House of Commons.

© Cornelia Parker. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means.

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