United Kingdom: On the Campaign Trail with Cornelia Parker, the U.K.’s Official Election Artist | The New Yorker

Like many things in British politics, the job of the official U.K. election artist is a bit make-it-up-as-you-go. Dreamed up by the maverick former sports minister Tony Banks, in the early two-thousands, the post was one of the feel-good innovations of Tony Blair’s first term in office. “It just occurred to me that we have war artists, so why not have an election artist?” Banks said at the time. Each election cycle, an artist joins politicians, pundits, and news photographers on the campaign trail and produces his or her own interpretation of events. The only requirement is that the artists betray no political bias and that, upon completion, the works they create go on display in the Houses of Parliament. The painter Jonathan Yeo, the first artist appointed, in 2001, produced respectful oil portraits of Blair and his rival party leaders. Most recently, in 2015, the illustrator Adam Dant made a fantastical pen-and-ink drawing, “The Government Stable,” which crowded many of the events that he’d witnessed in the course of the campaign onto a single “Where’s Waldo?”-ish canvas more than six feet wide.

United Kingdom: Cornelia Parker named as official artist of 2017 general election | The Guardian

Cornelia Parker, who once said of her art, “I resurrect things that have been killed off,” has been named the official artist for the 2017 general election, and is the first woman to take on the role. Politicians who study the CV of the Turner prize-nominated Royal Academy member, whose work is in many national and international collections, may be alarmed to note that it has often involved spectacular acts of destruction of her subjects. She called in the army to help her blow up a shed, later exhibited as suspended fragments as if in mid-explosion, and used part of the mechanism of Tower Bridge to flatten 54 brass band instruments in Breathless, a commission for the V&A. Last year she dismantled an old American barn and reconstructed it as the sinister Bates mansion from the film Psycho, as an installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.