Covenant (non diamond dust) is a signed silkscreen print with glaze produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. The print, made in 2013, depicts a mesmerising pattern of colourful concentric circles. When looked at closely, which the print invites the viewer to do, it becomes apparent that the circles are made up of hundreds of butterflies, with their wings creating intricate patterns.
The print can be viewed alongside the Kaleidoscope series, an impressive body of work conceived by Hirst in 2001 after he found a Victorian tea tray decorated with delicate patterns of butterfly wings. The Kaleidoscope series is characterised by magnificent circular patterns composed of butterflies, as seen in Covenant (non diamond dust).
As implied by the print’s title, Covenant (non diamond dust) carries significant spiritual and religious symbolism and can be interpreted as an exploration into the nature of religion. The butterfly itself is used by the Greeks to represent the Psyche and the soul, and it is also found in Christian imagery to signify the resurrection. Furthermore, the symmetry of the print’s pattern resonates with the spectacular stained-glass windows found in Gothic churches, as well as with the beautiful circular patterns of Buddhist mandalas.