To Belong is a signed etching in colours on wove paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. Made in 2008, the print shows a spectacular blue butterfly with a delicate white pattern across its wings. The butterfly is depicted from a close-up angle, showcasing all the details of the insect’s body. The print is able to capture the natural beauty of the butterfly, an insect which often appears in Hirst’s artworks. Set against a black backdrop, the blue and white wings contrast dramatically with the background of the print, capturing the viewer’s attention.
The butterfly as a symbol has become closely associated with Hirst’s work and visual language and is one of the artist’s best-known motifs. Explaining why he is so attracted to the butterfly, Hirst elaborates: “I love butterflies because when they are dead, they look alive.” Hirst discusses how the butterfly embodies the fragility of life as it retains an iridescent beauty, even in death. The use of butterflies in his artworks is therefore a means for the artist to explore themes of life and death in his art.
Butterflies are a central element of other artworks by Hirst, such as the Kaleidoscope series, in which Hirst produces magnificent patterns of concentric circles which are composed of hundreds of multi-coloured butterfly wings.