A Little Drop of Gin, 2016
Dimensions: 350 x 350mm, unframed
Medium: Polymer photogravure etching on Fabriano Tiepolo Bianco 290gsm paper
Edition of 120
Acclaimed artist Cornelia Parker has made a limited-edition print for our exhibition FOUND. Nicknamed 'mother's ruin', gin had a role to play in the establishment of the Foundling Hospital and often featured in the paintings of William Hogarth. During the early 1700s when Thomas Coram returned to London, the city was in the grip of the Gin Craze, and by 1730 London was distilling around ten million gallons annually. On describing the print Parker says: "I’ve made a limited-edition print for the show using a 1750s gin glass; it’s a proletariat glass, which is quite a chunky thing, not very elegant. There are not many of them around now because the working-class gin glasses, once ubiquitous, have mostly not been conserved. Recently I’ve been making photogravures using real objects, so I placed this glass and some spots of gin directly onto the chemically prepared plate. The resulting etching looks like somebody’s dropped their glass, perhaps when inebriated. There is a rhyme from Hogarth’s day: ‘Little nips of whisky, little drops of gin, make a lady wonder where on earth she’s bin'."
Cornelia Parker was born in Cheshire in 1956. She studied at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design and at Wolverhampton Polytechnic before receiving her MA (Fine Arts) from the University of Reading in 1982. Her first major solo exhibition, Thirty Pieces of Silver, took place at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 1988. In 1997 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize and in 2010 she was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and became an OBE. Parker’s work is held in numerous collections worldwide including Tate, MoMA, the British Council, The Pompidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art. She has taken part in many exhibitions internationally including a 2015 retrospective at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, The Whitechapel Gallery, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Serpentine Gallery. International exhibitions include the 2014 Gwangju Biennale, 2013 Venice Biennale, and 2008 Sydney Biennale. Parker was commissioned by Terrace Wires in collaboration with HS1 and the Royal Academy of Arts to make One More Time for St Pancras International Station, London in 2015. In the same year she also made Magna Carta (An Embroidery), a commission by the Ruskin School of Art in partnership with the British Library. Her site-specific installation for the Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York opened in May 2016.