This HLF-funded installation showcases the artist’s response to the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.
A brand new work by contemporary artist Mat Collishaw’s work exposes all the mechanics that make this bizarre robot face come to life. It’s clear that portrait painting was the Photoshop of its day and Collishaw reminds us that reality can be harsh and ugly — a message that transcends all eras.
Two heads of Queen Elizabeth I look at each other. One is in the Armada portrait where she’s been depicted as porcelain and beautiful. The second is a creepy animatronic head based on her death mask, which blinks as we approach it, making for a very unsettling experience.