Insecticide 18

Mat Collishaw explores themes of beauty and destruction. In Insecticide 18, the vibrant red, yellow and black iridescent wings coexist with the mangled crushed body of an insect making it appear both beautiful and tragic. Collishaw’s Insecticide series 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 on a giant scale. Describing the work, 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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