The Nerve Rack, 2019
Acetal, acrylic, aluminium, brass, electric circuitry, paint, PVC, resin, servo motors, steel
195 × 116 × 66 cm
The work was originally created specifically for the former Ushaw Seminary in County Durham as a site-specific installation. A life- size mechanical figure of an eagle, it was installed in the chapel of St. Cuthbert’s Church opposite one of County Durham’s treasures, a lectern topped with a bronze sculpture of an eagle designed by the 19th century architect Augustus Pugin. The majestic images embodied symbols of opposing religious beliefs in 16th century England. Facing each other, they represented the confrontation of two monumental religions: Catholicism and Protestantism. Symbolizing the dangers of extremism and intransigence, Collishaw’s metallic eagle opens its wings menacingly, clutching in its talons its prey – a mouse wiggling helplessly in an attempt to escape its fate.
The Nerve Rack, Ushaw College, County Durham, Jul 5-Nov 3, 2019
Mat Collishaw. The Machine Zone. Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow. Feb 25-Jun 25, 2022