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Art Editorial

eagleushaw.jpg Challenging perspectives on faith

Mat Collishaw has created a site-specific installation at Ushaw that explores themes of martyrdom, treason, worship and heresy.

The eagle pictured above is one of the real treasures at Ushaw. It was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, the Gothic Revival architect best known for designing the interior of the Houses of Parliament. He also designed some of the buildings and many interior features at Ushaw and the renowned British artist Mat Collishaw was inspired by his work to create ‘Execution of Justice’, which will be installed in the ornate ante-chapel of the Chapel of St Cuthbert. This will feature a large animatronic eagle that will ‘face off’ with Pugin’s bird. Collishaw’s will be able to look around and twitch, raise its wings to full span, while also teasing and torturing a mechanical mouse. The eagles tensely represent both victim and aggressor, provoking thoughts of two opposing viewpoints of Christianity: Protestant and Catholic, martyr and heretic.

Execution of Justice, 5 July-3 November, Ushaw, County Durham. More information: ushaw.org