The painting Island of the Dead depicts a melancholic group of rocks isolated from the viewer by the sea. The island appears remote and inaccessible, like death itself.
Collishaw built a 3 dimensional map of the island using a computer program that describes the contours and topography of the island. He introduced a light source to imitate the sun that moves 360° around the island, taking three minutes to represent a 24 hour period, and throwing it into light and shade as it does so. As the sun reaches the other side and the light fades, the picture recedes behind what is revealed to be a two-way mirror, and the viewer is faced only with their own reflection.