This piece is from Parker’s Avoided Objects
series of sculptures – objects that she put through processes of radical transformation. Fascinated with things that mimic cartoon ‘deaths’ – steamrollering, shooting full of holes, falling from cliffs and explosions, Parker uses these methods to change to give her chosen objects a different meaning or significance. Shared Fate (Oliver)
is a 1960s Oliver Twist doll that Parker found at Brick Lane Market, in East London. Inspired by the doll’s unhappy expression, she used the actual guillotine used to execute Marie Antoinette to cut the doll in half. This extraordinary act made a second-hand doll of a fictional character share the same fate as a real historical figure.
Shared Fate (Oliver)
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: Doll cut in half by the guillotine that chopped off Marie Antoinette's head42 x 20 x 10 cmCourtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London© Cornelia Parker
Cornelia Parker (b. 1956, Cheshire, UK) is a visual artist considered one of the UK's most acclaimed contemporary artists. Best known for her large-scale installations and sculpture, Parker also works across a variety of other mediums, including drawing, photography and embroidery. Always driven by curiosity, she reconfigures domestic objects to question our relationship with the world. Using transformation, playfulness and storytelling, she engages with important issues of our time, be it violence, ecology or human rights. In 2010 she was made an OBE and elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, and her work has been exhibited globally is and held in collections all over the world, including Tate’s.