Cornelia Parker: One Day This Glass Will Break

Fox Talbot's Articles of Glass (tagged glasses)
Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass (four glasses more), 2016, from: Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass. Courtesy and © the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery, 2017. Photo: FXP Photography, London, 2017

Cornelia Parker’s latest experiments in photography and printmaking are presented in this exhibition of twenty large-scale photogravures from three series:

Thirty Pieces of Silver (exposed) (2015), One Day This Glass Will Break (2015) and Fox Talbot’s Art.

One Day This Glass Will Break arose from Cornelia Parker’s investigations into the photogravure – a photomechanical process which produces images through the exposure of a photographic positive onto a copper printing plate.

Parker reinvented the technique by substituting the photographic negative for three-dimensional objects that are laid directly onto the copper plate. In this way, Parker draws on both the photogravure and early photographic techniques pioneered by the 19th-century photographer Henry Fox Talbot. His solar prints, the first versions of the ‘photogram’, were generated without a camera by placing an object onto photosensitive paper and exposing it to light.

The prints Parker produces capture the shadows cast by glass or melting ice, arranged informally on a photogravure plate. Where the surface of a light bulb or vase comes into contact with the plate, it leaves a sharply defined black impression; where it curves away the impression grows lighter, creating a spectral still life. Parker explored this process further in a second series, Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass, based on Fox Talbot’s collection of glassware.

Two prints from another series, Thirty Pieces of Silver (exposed) (2015), are also included. Here, the artist uses found glass photographic negatives of antique silverware, originally produced for a 1960s Spink auction catalogue. Exposed to the copper plate in their original glassine bags, the negatives appear as physical, dimensional objects themselves.

Work with us

Exhibition available from spring 2024

Tour ongoing 

  • Size:
    20 prints
  • Fee:
    £850 plus VAT for a four week showing (financial year 2023/24)
  • Gallery requirements:
    Sizes of framed prints vary, approximately 50 running metres in total 
    Security Category C. Insurance must be taken out for this exhibition whilst on display
  • Education resources:
    Includes a resource pack

Request details