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Matt Collishaw
CREDIT: © Matt Collishaw

Referencing Kingston's historical past

A new artwork from Mat Collishaw HonFRPS references bats, past English Kings, a long-gone church and chrono-photographer Eadweard Muybridge in an ethereal projected experience

A new commission has led artist Mat Collishaw HonFRPS to create a projection that references Kingston-Upon-Thames' historical past. The 11m wide projection is designed for the Undercroft, a long alleyway in Kingston that runs between the river and All Saints Church, the site where many early English Kings were crowned. Kingston is a bat conservation area and the birthplace of the photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

The original church has now long gone, so Mat decided to use the church that now stands on this site. Starting by laser scanning the church, he then built and animated several bats in Maya software. The scanned characteristics of the church alludes to the hidden, quasi-mystical quality of this once sacred ground. 

It also resonates with the echo location system utilised by bats; scanning and echo-location operating on similar principles. The resulting work attempts to draw together the legendary history of the area with chimerical bats in a sequence that references the father of animation Eadweard Muybridge.

The video will be projected onto semi-transparent mesh, which gives the projection a skeletal, ghostly quality.

This project was commissioned by Canadian & Portland Estates and was created in collaboration with Kingston University, specifically two students on the animation course, Lorena Popovici and Josephine Miller.


Mat Collishaw received an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society in 2018. The call for the 2021 Awards is now open and nominations can be made here until 29 January 2021. 

A special preview of Collishaw's new work can be seen below: