Cornelia parker

At her best when lightly ruffling the surfaces of things: Cornelia Parker, at Tate Britain, reviewed

Cornelia Parker wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but when she was growing up her German godparents sent her a silver spoon or fork every birthday. She seems to have had a thing about silverware ever since. She used to sell it on Portobello Market, and it formed the basis of her first large installation. ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ (1988) could be viewed as an elegy to the fish knife and all those other superannuated aids to aspirational dining whose genteel functions are now all but forgotten – salvers, sauceboats, toast racks, sugar tongs and those scalloped silver shells holding coils of butter beaded with condensation from