Orbital is an etching taken from Damien Hirst’s first volume of In A Spin, The Action Of The World Upon Things from 2002. The print is entirely abstract and shows concentric circles made up of very thin lines. Regular and very tightly rendered, the lines that make up the print’s subject convey a great sense of movement and speed.
The In A Spin, The Action Of The World Upon Things portfolio is a variation on Hirst’s spin paintings, created with a spin machine in his studio onto which a circular canvas is attached and paint is thrown. This series of etchings were created using the same spin machine but with copper plates attached and sharp tools used to draw the concentric lines.
Hirst has described his spin paintings as “childish…in the positive sense of the word.” The spin paintings and this series of etchings are characterised by chance and spontaneity, with the hand of the artist removed from compositional choice. Set in contrast to the formulaic spot series, both portfolios are provoking for their exploration of an imaginary mechanical painter. Each spin painting and etching is the result of Hirst’s colour choice and the rotations of the machine. Hirst explains: “I really like making them. And I really like the machine, and I really like the movement. Every time they’re finished, I’m desperate to do another one.”