LONDON - As Sotheby’s prepares to hold a sale, Artists for Ikon, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, artist Cornelia Parker recalls the role it played in her career.
ARTIST CORNELIA PARKER.
What does Ikon mean to you?
A lot, I have a very special relationship with the gallery and its directors past and present who have mentored me and helped launch my career. In 1988/89 it was the Ikon that hosted my first major one-person exhibition Thirty Pieces of Silver featuring a large installation that is now in the Tate collection. More recently in 2007 I had a mid-career survey show Never Endings there, which toured to Museo De Arte de Lima, Peru.
What is the work you have in the sale?
Alter Ego (Mutiny) which features two suspended silver-plated teapots, one dominating the other.
CORNELIA PARKER, ALTER EGO (MUTINY), 2013, TWO SILVER-PLATED OBJECTS, ONE FLATTENED BY A 250 TON PRESS, SUSPENDED ON A METAL WIRE, DIMENSIONS VARIABLE, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND FRITH STREET GALLERY.
Does the work have any significance in relation to Ikon?
It is a nod to the installation Thirty Pieces of Silver, the first piece I made using silver. This time though, the teapot in the piece was flattened by a 250-ton press rather than a steamroller.
If you could offer advice to yourself at the time of your 1988 Ikon exhibition, what would it be?
What do you think the next 50 years will hold for Ikon?
Hopefully it’s reputation and influence will continue to grow, evolving into Britain’s museum for 21st-century art.
Read Ikon director Jonathan Watkins on the 50th anniversary of the gallery.