Mark Making
Izzy Parker

Mark Making with Izzy Camp is the fourth installment of Common Ground 2016–17.

Common Ground is Milton Keynes Arts Centre’s community participation and artist development programme supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Offering a twelve-month season of distinct projects, each presenting high quality and meaningful opportunities for engagement between a diverse spectrum of artists and communities living in Milton Keynes.

See below for more details.

January – March 2017

Mark Making will visually represent the time passed in the form of an immersive installation created from thousands of hung multiples. Artist Izzy Parker will showcase her participant’s identities, her father's and her own identity in one setting; representing a generation of identities in one exhibition.

Parker asks students to explore their own identities by teaching them how to design and make their own signet rings and she will explore her own identity by creating a new body of work that is homage to the recent passing of her father.

The exhibition will provide a platform to encapsulate different perceptions of identity. Her own, her father's and the students. The show will feature an immersive hanging installation by Izzy Parker, the students finished signet rings and a short documentary of the project created by filmmaker Naveed Nasir.

2017 will herald the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes and much has changed since this ‘new town’ was officially inaugurated in 1967 with a simple brief to become a ‘city in scale’. Artist Izzy Parker will be marking this special occasion by exploring the theme of identity and asking participants from the Stephenson Academy to design and make their own signet ring. Used since the 1400s as identification marks, signet rings were considered such an official mark of identification, that to prevent fraudulent acts being committed they were often destroyed when their wearer died. Izzy Parker has chosen to work with pupils from the Stephenson Academy to ask them to consider how and what factors represent their own identity. Be it their own personal history, clothing, friends, family or even their favourite musician. The ‘making’ element of the project will offer a calm, focused and contemplative activity for them to engage with. Providing the head space to consider what and who they relate to as young adults.

It is important we find our own clan; where we feel we belong alongside peers we respect so we can contextualise where we fit into society and our community.
Izzy Parker

Parker’s own exploration of identity has been heightened by the recent passing of her father in December 2015. Interested by how signet rings were destroyed after the wearer died, somewhat eradicating the identity of the individual, Parker will investigate how we often try to hold on to the identity of a person after their death. She will consider our perception of memories and how they can change over the course of time. Secondary to the signet ring workshops Parker will run some set building classes where students will assist in the build and installation of the set for the exhibition. By the end of the project they will have learnt a broad range of goldsmithing, set building and practical skills.

An immersive sea of thousands of hung paper drinking cones each strung upside down and empty represent every hour passed since her father’s death, the mass of monochrome expresses the memory of an all-encompassing state of mind.

The immersive environment aims to engulf visitors on a journey through the Mark Making project. Common Ground expands upon Milton Keynes Arts Centre’s community participation and artist development programmes, offering a twelve month season of five distinct projects, each presenting high quality and meaningful opportunities for engagement between a diverse spectrum of artists and communities living in Milton Keynes. Working with artists Yinka Ilori, Ibiye Camp, Tom Dale, Izzy Parker, Groundwork (Ashleigh Griffith and Cara Davies) and our communities. Our projects will see artists work directly with our communities to create new works and establish a connected programme of workshops, professional and artistic development, salons and supper clubs targeting artists and practitioners based in Milton Keynes.


Izzy Parker is a London based artist + designer, working across a vast range of disciplines, including: set design, set build, prop making, installation, visual arts, jewellery and interior styling. She uses inventive making processes exploring the potential of unusual materials. The running thread throughout her work is her inquisitive obsession for observing human behaviour, creating objects and environments which question how we relate to one another.

Further reading


Exhibition, Events, Workshops and Professional Development
from Mark Making with Izzy Parker

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