I love artists who challenge and provoke, who shock and educate. Mat Collishaw is a particularly fascinating artist, exploring life, death, beauty and horror in his range of works. One of the original YBA artists, he was part of the Sensation! show at the Royal Academy in 2007, which launched Hirst, Emin and their contemporaries.
His latest show at London’s Blain Southern gallery features an spectacular and bizarre zoetrope (yes I had to google that) -a visual cacophony that sets your head spinning.
The Centrifugal Soul is the title work and centrepiece of Mat Collishaw’s exhibition at Blain|Southern. It is a sculpture in the form of a zoetrope, which animates scenes of bowerbirds and birds of paradise as they perform elaborate mating rituals.
The work offers a captivating demonstration of how aesthetic diversity has evolved through sexual selection and also reflects the artist’s ongoing examination of our insatiable appetite for visual stimulation.
Its a mind boggling installation that leaves you feeling like you’ve just spent 8 hours in some kind of zoological night club on fast forward. The show also features a large scale projection of the Major Oak, a 1000 year old tree in Nottingham forest that is said to have sheltered Robin Hood and is now kept alive, propped up on a series of scaffolding poles and chains. Highly recommended (unless you don’t like strobe lights).
Featured image courtesy Blain Southern and the artist. Photographer Peter Mallet.