I was very lucky in that I was able to attend the talk given by artist Mat Collishaw at New Art Gallery Walsall in November. I booked it early and I’m glad I did now, as there was a massive waiting list and it seemed to sell out very quickly! Sadly I didn’t have much time to look around the whole of the show, but managed to see his sculptural flower pieces which were of particular interest to me, considering my interests within my own work!
It was fascinating listen to him talk about the work, I scribbled down lots of notes frantically while he talked, trying not to miss anything important! These are some of the notes from my notebook about his flower sculptures:
“Morbid attraction with death, evil, sex, obsession, decay
Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans
Fed up of idealised images of flowers, cosmetic adaptation, flowers are quite sexual and predatory, only want to spread their seed.
Growing in contaminated/poisoned soil
ideas began as collages of flowers and diseases grafted together, then moved towards sculpture. Moulded and grafted together, painted in fleshy colours”
Some of his thoughts about plants, particularly flowers, were really interesting to hear as you usually don’t hear people discussing them from his perspective. It also really connected with how I’ve been thinking about my own hybrids, as quite dangerous and predatory in their aesthetic and how they may behave and survive if they were real plants.