Insecticide

Mat Collishaw explores themes of beauty and destruction. Insecticide is a series of works initiated in 2006 that originated with the birth of his son after his flat had to be cleared of an infestation of bugs. The artist collected remnants of these bugs from his floor, squashed them between 35mm slides, and began projecting them twelve feet high onto a wall. The microscopic detail of each insect was amplified to a large scale. The process graduated to desktop scanners where the artist could directly scan the crushed insect. Initially the scans resembled nothing, the artist would then digitally manipulate the image into something identifiable. The resulting works contain vibrant colours of the insect's wings that coexist with the mangled crushed body making it appear both beautiful and tragic. Collishaw says: "It seemed to me this was a very simple example of the work being an act of death: petit morte […] It records an act of violence but can also produce some quite beautiful images".
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