The Centrifugal Soul is the title work and centrepiece of British contemporary artist Mat Collishaw‘s new exhibition at Blain|Southern in London.
The sculpture, in the form of a zoetrope a pre-film animation device that produces the illusion of motion through rapid rotation and stroboscopic light, 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.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, a new body of work continues the examination of visual power play with twelve trompe l’oeil paintings of tethered British garden birds revisited with graffiti textured background, in a nod to seventeenth-century fashion for commissioning portraits of prestige pets.
A monumental visual installation titled ‘Albion’ presents a rotating ghostly image of an oak tree, in reference to the mythical Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.The image represents a living object that is trapped in perpetuity to present the illusion of life.
Throughout his work, Collishaw has examined the way in which we consume imagery and how our biology has conditioned us to respond. The exhibition reflects the consistent themes addressed in the artist’s practice and the diversity of his chosen mediums. Moreover, it questions how much choice we have in accepting what seems to be a natural preoccupation with self-image.
The Centrifugal Soul
Until 7 May 2017