Interview: Mat Collishaw
New Art Gallery, Walsall
25 September 2015 – 10 January 2016
Mat Collishaw: In Camera
Library of Birmingham
18 September 2015 – 10 January 2016
At first glance, Mat Collishaw’s photographs and zoetropes are exquisite: flowers, butterflies, fairies and carousels. Look a little closer, however, and all is not as it seems: the flowers are rotting from the inside out, the butterflies are disintegrating, the fairies are but deception, and the entertaining roundabout is a repetitive cycle of violence and cruelty. Collishaw’s works make his audience feel attracted and repelled; intrigued and appalled; ashamed and complicit. And this is precisely the artist’s intention. Recognising human nature as both good and bad, Collishaw wants to explore the evil inherent within us all, believing that to face our own demons with honesty might be a step towards making the world a better place.
Collishaw (b1966), who is based in London, is currently exhibiting at both the Library of Birmingham and the New Art Gallery Walsall. He spoke to Studio International about his new works, his recurring themes and interests, and his views on the proliferation of violence.