Five works by contemporary artist Mat Collishaw will be displayed in the Queen's Presence Chamber, surrounding the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I from 13 April
Banner images: Fading Memories of the Sun, Insecticide 28 and Insecticide 18. Courtesy of the artist and Blain|Southern
Mat Collishaw’s photographic works of burning flowers and crushed butterflies encourage us to look at the Armada Portrait in new ways. Intrigued by the uniform lighting in Elizabethan paintings, Collishaw replicates it in his images, eliminating shadows and the illusion of depth. He sees the finery of Elizabeth’s dress as highly detailed but fragmented, which relates to the shattered textures and fragile beauty of the butterflies. The Armada Portrait shows a queen at the height of her power, but for Collishaw, the life and beauty of the aging Queen are as fleeting as butterflies and flowers, all captured in the moment by the artist.
In the autumn, the Queen’s Presence Chamber will host a new work by Collishaw inspired by the Armada Portrait.