Petrichor: Mat Collishaw
Serving as a guide and keepsake, Petrichor is the perfect takeaway from Mat Collishaw’s exciting exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew.
Text by: Mat Collishaw, James Parry, with a foreword by Richard Deverell. 120 pp, 90 colour photographs. 280 x 240 mm. Paperback, ISBN 978184246805. Kew Publishing, 2023.
Petrichor is a celebration of the work of iconic artist Mat Collishaw at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, showcasing new commissions alongside existing works and drawing on an array of evocative imagery from the natural world. It also encompass sculptural installations, using a variety of pioneering techniques to explore the relationship between the natural world, art history, and how representations of nature in art can impact the way in which we see the world around us.
Highlights include the UK premier of Even to the End, a large-scale projected work that immerses viewers in a sequence inspired by the invention of the Wardian Case, The Centrifugal Soul, a zoetrope displaying bird courtship against a backdrop of blooming flowers and The Albion, an eerie spectre of an oak tree suspended between life and death.
Mat Collishaw is a key figure in the important generation of British artists who emerged from Goldsmiths’ College in the late 1980s. Collishaw is most renowned for his photographs and video installations. His work combines the beautiful and seductive with an undercurrent of unnerving violent, repulsive imagery and psychological drama, examining and distorting our attraction and repulsion to particular images. Often, images are appropriated and digitally altered, the underlying theme being the relationship between representation and reality.
James Parry writes on various aspects of art and travels regularly to review exhibitions, attend auctions and interview artists, collectors and curators. He has previously collaborated with Mat Collishaw for journalistic pieces and books, such as The Centrifugal Soul (Blain Southern, 2017).
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