Mat Collishaw is a key figure in an important generation of contemporary British artists. He began his career exhibiting the acclaimed work Bullet Hole at the legendary show Freeze in 1988. His broad practice includes sculpture, photography, film and installation, and his work has been exhibited in numerous solo shows around the world, including: Fountains Relief, at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal in 2016.
Collishaw worked in partnership with evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller to produce Centrifugal Soul, a 3D zoetrope (a pre-film animation device that produces the illusion of motion) based on Miller’s theory that the human capacity for making art stems from natural instincts of courtship and reproduction.
The sculpture on show at Castle Howard animated birds of paradise as they perform elaborate mating dances and extract pollen from wild blossoms. Another of Collishaw’s zoetrope sculptures was hailed as ‘nothing less than a contemporary masterpiece’ by The Sunday Times.
Alongside the atmospheric zoetrope, the exhibition will also feature a new series of prints depicting birds tethered to perches, including a Hawfinch, produced especially for Castle Howard. In these new works the artist looks further into our seemingly natural urge for visual powerplay.