I am interested in the way objects are used to convey a narrative in Cornelia Parker’s work. Twenty Years of Silver consists of two silver goblets, which her friend was given as a wedding present. The marriage has since broken down, and the two goblets were never polished since they were received. Parker describes the constant accumulation of tarnish as the element she is exhibiting. Parker is also known to have exhibited handkerchiefs showing traces of tarnish (like Turin shrouds), left behind when polishing famous historical objects, for example, Henry VII’s suit of armour.
I am considering gently cleaning my Great Great Grandfather’s and relative Michale Connolly’s medals, and keeping the tarnish on a cloth in a way similar to Parker. The medals would have been held by my relatives and in a way completely discarding the traces of wear feels disrespectful. I am interested in the conflict between preservation of objects, and the natural deterioration of them over time.