It’s not often you walk into a gallery and are completely blown away. Mat Collishaw’s The Centrifugal Soul is one of those exhibitions that stays in your memory for a very long time. Not just for it’s visually appealing qualities, but because it’s so brilliantly clever!

The irony is that in liking this visually striking body of work, I am playing into the hands of artist himself, with much of his work offering an examination of our insatiable appetite for visual stimulation.

Working with evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, ‘whose theory is that the origins of art stem from natural instincts of courtship and reproduction’, to produce the title of the exhibition and the central installation that brings it altogether.

Taking the form of a zeotrope with rotational strobe lights, the installation creates the illusion of dozens of tropical birds dancing in a synchronised mating ritual. It is absolutely mesmerising.

Collishaw invites you to think about the concept of image, and the importance we place on the projection of ourselves to the outside world. How for many this representation is as important as actually finding a loving relationship and real friendships. How the pressures to appear at your very best at all times, can be compared to impact of social media today, and the decline of healthy ‘real’ relationships.

The gallery describes Mat Collishaw’s latest exhibition as a presentation of, ‘new sculpture, installation and paintings. Drawing on various forms of illusion, the exhibition explores ideas of superficial truth and the erosive effect of our primal urges for visual supremacy’.

The Centrifugal Soul is not just a sculpture, it is nature and art all rolled into one. It has meaning, and then at he same time it is meaningless eye candy.

The exhibition at the Blain Southern Gallery runs until the 27th of May, and is totally free to attend.

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