Collishaw developed a technique of projecting glass slides onto walls coated with phosphorescent paint. The images were burnt onto the walls and lingered for several minutes after each projection. He took photographs of children, either alone or carried by adults, running from the scene of some disaster.
These were based on scenes from the Beslan siege in 2004.
As the scene unfolded over several days, the media was given time to set up outside the school and broadcast a constantly updated stream of images around the world for our consumption.
It seems that witnessing humans in extreme distress stimulates our adrenalin levels. Collishaw suggests that it may be a vicarious response to the intensity of this suffering that makes us feel more alive and alert. The media exploits this, feeding us a never-ending catalogue of disaster to devour. As the last images fade on our retina a new one arrives to take its place.
In this installation, a series of haunting images of Victorian child prostitutes are projected in rapid succession onto walls coated with phosphorescent paint. The ghost of these pictures is burnt onto the walls and gradually fades over time. Occasionally a projector will drag the image across the wall before leaving it burning bright at the end of a trail of light. This has a similar effect to the arc of a shooting star.
The lives of these girls sadly often resembled their presentation here; a light that burnt brightly and as suddenly extinguished in its prime, with just a ghostly image in a photograph to remind us of their ever having existed.