UK General Election 2017

Meet the woman making art out of the UK election

Updated 1st May 2017
Artist Cornelia Parker in front of her work "One More Time" unveiled at St Pancras International station on May 28, 2015 in London.
Credit: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Terrace Wires
Meet the woman making art out of the UK election
Written by Hilary ClarkeLondon
Life, as the writer Oscar Wilde once observed, imitates art more than the other way round, but what about politics and art?
British artist Cornelia Parker, 61, best known for her installations that resurrect debris from destruction, is about to find out.
The former Turner prize nominee has just been appointed the official artist for next month's snap UK general election, the first woman to have the honor.
"It's a very important election and there are a lot of issues about Brexit so it feels like a big responsibility," Parker told CNN.
"It gives you an excuse to immerse yourself in something that keeps you awake at night anyway."
Not all politicians standing for election will fall over themselves to invite Parker on their campaign bus when she hits the election trail to observe and be inspired.
Her best known artworks include "Cold Dark Matter", where she blew up a shed and then arranged and suspended the fragments in London's Tate Gallery.
In another, "PsychoBarn", she dismantled a traditional American barn, then reconstructed it as the sinister Bates hotel in the film Psycho. The work, also inspired by the painting of Edward Hopper, was displayed last year on the roof of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"PsychoBarn" by British artist Cornelia Parker, 
for The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.
"PsychoBarn" by British artist Cornelia Parker, for The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Parker has a four screen video installation currently on show at London's Frith Street Gallery based on a series of photos taken in the US last Halloween shortly before the US Presidential election.
"I was completely obsessed with the US election," she said. "Every election now is very trepidatious. The whole world order seems to be changing."
The UK's snap election is set to take place on June 8. It was called to strengthen Theresa May's government's hand during the UK's divorce negotiations with the European Union.
It will be the fifth to be recorded by an official election artist.
Parker says she plans to start her research at a Labour Party hustings later this week in south London. She will try and attend events by all the political parties over the next few weeks in many different places.
"I always take loads of photographs and now, everything I look at seems political. Even my full English breakfast suddenly gets Brexit connotations"
The last artist to hold the post, Adam Dant, told CNN that he traveled the "length and breadth of the country" in 2015 to come up with his artwork "The Government Stable".
"It was an incredible insight into how amazing and diverse this country is, not just in terms of people, but history and in what really matters to the public," Dant said.
Because the election was a surprise call, Parker will have less than two months to research.
The final finished artwork has to be submitted by September and will join the House of Commons' parliamentary art collection.