Loadstone (Elegy for an English Country Graveyard), 2008

Cornelia Parker made Loadstone the year after the birth of her first child and the loss of both her parents. The work brings ideas of familial relationships and memorial into sharp contrast for the artist. These ideas found expression in the late Philip Larkin’s poem ‘This Be The Verse’. Written in 1971, Larkin’s irreverent poem offers incisive analysis of parental failure. Commissioned for an exhibition in Somerset, Parker drew inspiration from the area’s history of breakaway Christian congregations to create the idea of a ‘non- conformist memorial’. The artist used a stonemason to carve Larkin’s poem into a piece of Blue Lias stone, traditionally used for ledger stones and memorials. Resembling typewritten script, Loadstone had the appearance of a piece of carbon paper literally given new weight by the minimalist stone.