‘War Room’ by Cornelia Parker at The Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester. Cinemagraph by David Levene for the Guardian

In the “War Room” installation, Cornelia Parker has taken the remains of the punched rolls of paper poppies and created a tent made of these rolls. This installation work was on display at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester until 31 May 2015. Walking through this room and looking at these poppy holes, one can establish a link with the number of poppy shaped holes and the sheer number of the fallen victims of World War I. Each poppy hole representing a lost life. This work, despite it symbolising the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War, it is not considered a documentation of a war or a portrait of war, but rather a record of the aftermath, as it celebrates the brave men who sacrificed their lives for their country.[1]

The walls and ceiling of the “War Room” are entirely lined and draped with sheets of blood crimson paper, the leftover sheets from the factory in Richmond that makes the 45m Remembrance poppies sold every autumn. The regular stencilled pattern of the cut-out, absent poppies covers the paper. It is a room full of punched-out holes, regular and regimented, as a march, or as the grid of graves in a Flanders War Cemetery. [2]

 

[1][2] Searle, Adrian, “Mindbombs and meteor shows: Cornelia Parker at the Whitworth Art Gallery”, The Guardian, (2015): Web. 11 Feb 2015

 

 

Gardenia White