A film exploring the response of primary school children to their future.

Cornelia Parker’s multidisciplinary work addresses the important social and political issues of our time. In THE FUTURE (Sixes and Sevens), Parker asks a class of primary school children to answer questions about what they imagine their future to be like. There is a form of dialogue between two video screens, with some children answering questions while others listen or ponder their responses. The film’s title makes reference both to the idiom ‘at sixes and sevens’ (meaning confusion and disarray) and the 1964 TV documentary Seven Up!, in which 7-year-olds were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. In her video, Parker asks children about their hopes and fears, eliciting a range of responses. Although the looming climate crisis is touched on lightly by her interviewees, Parker comments: ‘Their very future is in peril, only us adults can do something about it, and it has to be now.’ 

THE FUTURE (Sixes and Sevens) is on display in the PACCAR Room from 18 June - 13 July.

Running time: 8 minutes

Cornelia Parker, Artist


Cornelia Parker headshot_2024_c_ Richard Boll_373560

Cornelia Parker is one of Britain's best loved and most acclaimed contemporary artists. Always driven by curiosity, she reconfigures domestic objects to question our relationship with the world. Using transformation, playfulness and storytelling, she engages with important issues of our time, be it violence, ecology or human rights.

Cornelia lives and works in London. Over the last three decades, she has presented numerous major commissions and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including a career retrospective at Tate Britain (2022); at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2019); Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster (2017); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2016), The Whitworth, the University of Manchester (2015), British Library, London (2015), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2010), Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru (2008), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2007) and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2006).

Cornelia was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London, made an OBE in 2010 and a CBE in 2022. She was elected the Apollo Awards Artist of the Year in 2016, and the following year, awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester. In 2017, she was appointed as the first female Election Artist for the United Kingdom General Election. She was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2021. Her works are held in public and private collections around the world including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Fundación “la Caixa”, Barcelona and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Cornelia Parker is represented by Frith Street Gallery and Cristea Roberts Gallery, London, and Wilde Gallery, Basel/Geneva.