Perpetual Canon is an installation by Cornelia Parker made up of sixty flattened instruments that belonged to a brass band. The ring, violated only by unwary and unruly visitors, hung in Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery. Cornelia Parker says, ‘I resurrect things that have been killed off. My work is all about the potential of materials – even when it looks like they’ve lost all possibilities.’ I tried to describe and explain it to friends over lunch at La Margherita. They were not convinced, looked askance at me, and turned their attention to the torta al cioccolato.
According to Jyll Bradley’s web site, ‘Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) marks the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on the River Medway, which brought about the end of the Anglo-Dutch wars, peace between the two nations and an unlikely cultural exchange based on growing plants. At the time of the Dutch Raid, Dutch growers were pioneering early glasshouse technology, which started with the simple idea of leaning glass frames against a south-facing wall – the so-called ‘Dutch Light’ – which led to a horticultural revolution that crossed the North Sea. In Bradley’s work, five tall ‘Dutch Lights’ made of Edge-Lit Plexiglas are turned on their side and leant against south-facing walls to create an open glasshouse structure that is activated by the sun.’ I’d learned my lesson and didn’t try this on my lunchtime companions. I preferred to stick with my memory of the cleaner’s homage to the work.
Photo: 1. Perpetual Canon, Cornelia Parker, Turner Contemporary, Margate, October 2018; 2. Dutch-Light (for Agenta Block), Jyll Bradley, Turner Contemporary, Margate, October 2018