Mat Collishaw rose to prominence in the 1990s as one of the defining generation of Young British Artists alongside his contemporaries Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. Often drawing on subjects from the history of art and photography, his works play with binary opposites: nature and artifice, sacred and profane, beauty and the abject. They reveal the compelling power of imagery to attract and repel as well as to deceive us. A consistent preoccupation has been his fascination with early forms of photography and other Victorian devices of illusion such as the zoetrope. In combination with such recent technology as virtual reality and animatronics, he creates works that address the moral dilemmas of the present day.
Featuring his 2016 installation Albion – a ghostly apparition of the Major Oak – and The Centrifugal Soul, this is the first major exhibition of Collishaw’s work to be mounted in the city of his birth.