The Enter The Infinite collection showcases Hirst’s versatility as an artist and his desire to experiment across different mediums. Hirst is known for producing art using various artistic practices, from installation to sculpture, printing as well as painting and drawing. Using a Jacquard loom to produce these artworks captures Hirst’s ambition and constant need to innovate and develop his visual language and artistic style.
The tapestries in this collection were all produced using a Jacquard loom, a mechanical loom which uses a series of punch cards to control the weaving of patterns. The loom was invented by French weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard in 1804 and it revolutionised the production of textiles and how patterned cloth could be woven. The invention of the loom meant that complex patterns could be manufactured by unskilled workers and the patterns could also be produced at a much faster rate than the time it took a weaver who was working manually.
The use of the Jacquard loom also reflects Hirst’s methodological approach to art and the mechanical precision which marks many of his artworks. A notable example of Hirst’s clinical, almost scientific, artistic style is captured in his Spot paintings which the artist produced from 1986 to 2011. In his Spot paintings, Hirst produced grids of multicoloured dots and circles, all equally spaced out from one another and identical in size. The paintings are characterised by their careful composition and precise arrangement which resonates strongly with the mechanical production of the tapestries in the Enter The Infinite collection.
Hirst had a long-standing interest in the intersection between mechanical reproduction and art which led the artist to question the inherent value of artworks. Hirst was clearly influenced by the work of Pop Artist Andy Warhol who used the screen printing technique to reproduce copies of his prints in large quantities.
The titles of the tapestries in this collection, such as H1-1 Enter The Infinite - Revelation, H1-7 Enter The Infinite - Being and H1-11 Enter The Infinite - Prophecy, carry strong spiritual and religious undertones. Hirst was fascinated by contemporary belief systems such as religion, love and medicine which bring out the tensions at the heart of human existence. Questions of life and death are also hinted at in the titles of the tapestries and their ethereal qualities. Life, death and mortality are themes often explored by Hirst in his art, notably in the repeated use of skulls, insects and dead animals throughout his artworks.