Many were bemused by the announcement on May 1st that Cornelia Parker was to be the official artist of the 2017 general election. Not as a comment on her credentials—she is widely considered one of Britain’s most exciting contemporary artists—but to discover that such a post exists. Its previous holders have created figurative works using oil, ink and photography to record the four general elections since 2001. Ms Parker is likely to be more inventive. She is using an Instagram account (@electionartist2017) to offer an eclectic commentary: the inaugural image, captioned “The election contenders”, shows a group of waving garden gnomes. She is best known for her conceptual work with sculpture and installation, including detonated sheds, cut-up shotguns and squashed instruments. A perfect fit for the explosive modern moment.

View a gallery of past British election artwork at