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Mat Collishaw's Magic Lantern at the V&A

March 11, 2011 by Kay

Victoria & Albert Museum

Friday 18th March, 7pm - 8pm

Mat Collishaws monumental work Magic Lantern, a nine-metre zoetrope that gives the impression of giant moths taking flight, abetted by flickering stroboscopic lighting, has been in situ in the crown cupola of the Victoria & Albert Museum since November.

In this talk, Collishaw will discuss Magic Lantern, as well as his inspirations and current and future projects with V&A curator Zoe Whitley. Tickets are available through the V&A at £6.00 call 00 44 7 942 2277 or email

Magic Lantern is visible between dawn and dusk from many locations around South Kensington until March 27. A miniature replica of the zoetrope, a cylindrical device which was first designed in 1834 to simulate motion, is located in the John Madejski Garden, allowing visitors a close-up view of the moths in flight.

About the commission, Collishaw said: "As the Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's greatest art and design museum, I wanted to create a work that reflects the V&A's standing as a monument to cultural achievement. The cupola will be lit to represent the museum itself as a beacon of light to which objects of beauty, activity and life are drawn."

To read about Mat Collishaw's current exhibition on until 27th March, view our previous post.

‘Magic Lantern’, Mat Collishaw, 2010. © Mat Collishaw