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Insecticide 17

Insecticide 17

C-type photo on Dibond

Inner Library

Courtesy the Artist and Blain Southern Limited, London

Enlarged to an epic scale, Mat Collishaw's gigantic photograph of a squashed insect has found its place over the Inner Library's mantle piece, a place usually reserved for portraits of the notable and powerful.

An infinite number of parasites and insects can be found in our homes. The artist has captured the moment of their death with a sense of tragedy and violence contrasting with our habitual indifference towards the death of an insect.

These same small creatures can cause enormous damage and are a constant preoccupation for the conservation teams of the National Trust. Their fight against this invisible enemy is illustrated here on the grandest of scales.

Mat Collishaw

Mat Collishaw's work evokes strong responses from the viewer. Even though the subject matter may be dark at times, the visual language of Collishaw's work is often stunningly beautiful, causing us to question our reaction to the ideas expressed in that work. Collishaw breaks taboos and challenges the forbidden subjects in society, but his desire to "create images that are awe-inspiring" results in artworks of utter beauty, touching on the sublime. Collishaw explores the viewer's desires and elicits conflicting emotions, "There are mechanisms within us that are primed to respond to all kinds of visual material, leaving us with no real say over what we happen to find stimulating," he says.

Mat Collishaw's most recent solo exhibitions include Superveillance  and Outcasts, both in Italy during 2010, as well as Retrospectre at the BFI South Bank, in London. Recent group exhibitions include Extraordinary Measures at Belsay Castle, Northumbria and Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin and Paula Rego: At The Foundling Museum, London in 2010. Mat Collishaw exhibits extensively worldwide and his work has been shown at the Venice Biennale. Mat was born in Nottingham and now lives and works in London.