Reflective Writing – Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter

  • Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991
  • A garden shed and contents blown up
  • Dimensions variable

In our first lesson we were shown the work of Cornelia Parker. This particular piece, we saw before the object had been blown up, and it was originally a shed.
We were asked to write down words that came to us when we looked at it.
The image to me looked quite lonely as it was a relatively small shed in the middle of a white open room. the actually surface of the shed looked rough as though it had aged over a long period of time and it was starting to wear out. It had obviously been loved because it had been wood stained to give it a dark brown colour, but over time it had gradually started to look it’s age.
The overall image of the shed was quite humble because it had a dull light beaming out of it connoting a warm feeling of safety. The surroundings of the shed foil this as the shapes of the room are very angular, resulting in shadowed areas, leaving an eery feeling about the room.

The next image that we saw was after the shed had been blown up and then arranged into the explosive pattern. This image was a total contrast to the previous as it was so chaotic. There were more shadows and movement; almost like the piece had let all of the ‘gools’ and monsters escape. The sharpness of the shards were very aggressive, leaving you with the feeling that they were going to attack you. The one thing that I did find a little strange was the fact that out of all of the chaos, the window frame was the only thing that remained intact. The result of this meant that there was a degree of sadness about the piece because there was still a recognisable piece that represented the humble beginnings of the shed that the outside had invaded and tried to destroy.


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