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The Beast in Me

The Beast in Me

Digital photo

Drawing Room

Courtesy Anne Faggionato


This seductive photograph, depicting the ancient Greek myth of Europa and the Bull, reflects the beauty and femininity of this side of the house, pitting overpowering masculinity against fragile beauty and the mechanisms of seduction.

According to the myth, when Zeus saw Europa gathering flowers by the sea he fell desperately in love with her. He transformed himself into a bull, seduced her with his gentleness and eventually abducted her.

Beast in Me uses the visual language of the classical style and echoes the many references to ancient myths that appear throughout the decoration and paintings at Attingham.

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.