Cornelia Parker on Buttons
For the Kettle’s Yard Button Commission, I have created military buttons from existing lead soldiers. These vintage toys have once been the prized possessions of children, they have been used to play war games in their time. As the new owner I have drilled four holes in each soldier and sewn them onto card, so they are reminiscent of buttons. These buttons are toxic and also practically useless.
I have used thick red waxed thread, so each armed soldier bears a red cross. They have been pierced with a sharp tool, wilfully injured by my fair hand in a premeditated act of violence. The red cross could mean that they are merely wounded, or it could signify a ‘Kill”.
Each card has a different orientation of soldiers attacking each other, sometimes pointing their guns at soldiers from their own side. The button cards bear the scars of my making, and in the process they become mini theatres of war.