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Fruitful And Forever

Damien Hirst’s H8 Fruitful and Forever prints depict magnified details from his The Virtues (2020) paintings, Hirst’s popular cherry blossom series. Here, it is the hopeful spring colours that dominate in abstract, painterly strokes. The series raised money for a Save the Children campaign supporting disadvantaged children affected by COVID-19 school closures.

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Meaning & Analysis

Hirst’s H8 Fruitful and Forever prints were created with Fondazione Prada, Milan, in order to raise money for charity Riscriviamo il Futuro.

The series is composed of two prints, Fruitful and Forever, which come in two different size variations. The prints depict sections from Hirst’s The Virtues series, which the artist completed during the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Cherry blossom tree in full bloom, in The Virtues series, Hirst reinterprets the traditional landscape painting as well as the major artistic movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as Impressionism and Action Painting. Other notable artistic influences that mark the series are Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and the pioneer of Pointillism, Georges Seurat. On discussing the completion of this impressive body of paintings, Hirst explains: “The pandemic has given me a lot more time to live with the paintings, and look at them, and make absolutely certain that everything’s finished.”

In Fruitful and Forever, Hirst uses bright, abstract details from the Virtues works, encouraging the viewer to appreciate the materiality of painting and the time that goes into producing such spectacular canvases. The prints show close-up details of the densely layered paint and draw attention towards the dabs of colourful paint that make up large-scale canvases. Spring colours dominate this series, with blue, pink, white and green paint being used to represent Spring and the blossoming trees.

Fruitful and Forever are deeply personal works that resonates strongly with Hirst’s childhood and youth. Hirst recalls how, at the age of three, he used to watch his mother painting the magnificent tree in full blossom. The artist’s love for the trees, their natural beauty and elegance grew stronger as time passed and the artist recounts fondly how he was enchanted by a cherry blossom tree outside his bedroom window in Devon. Hirst was drawn to the way in which the cycle of the cherry blossom tree acted like a clock, with its annual blossoming representing a year passing. He explains “I realised that, from a time-passing point of view, the tree meant everything to me: that’s another year, that’s another year. For a while, it just became like a clock. And I kind of love it for that reason.”

The profits from the Fruitful and Forever series were donated to a campaign launched by Save the Children which aimed to support Italian children from disadvantaged backgrounds who had been affected by the school closures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 Facts About Damien Hirst's Fruitful And Forever

This print depicts a close-up image of a canvas covered in thick layers of paint. The colourful dabs of paint make up a small section of a larger canvas which invites the viewer to ponder what lies beyond the frame of the composition.

H8-2 Fruitful © Damien Hirst 2020

1. Hirst’s Fruitful And Forever prints depict magnified details from his popular cherry blossom paintings

The prints show close up details of the densely layered and colourful dabs of paint from sections of the large-scale canvases from his series The Virtues. By magnifying a work that has become ubiquitous with his career, Hirst provides a new interpretation and point of view to the works.

An image of the artist Damien Hirst yawning, while the large size of one of his works from the Fruitful And Forever series lies on his stomach.

Image © Instagram @damienhirst / The artist Damien Hirst and his work H8-1 Fruitful 2020

2. Hirst executed the works as an effort to raise money for charity

The series was made by Hirst, working alongside Fondazione Prada, to support Save the Children Italy. The entirety of the profits from this series were donated to their campaign “Riscriviamo il Futuro”, which was launched to support Italian children from disadvantaged backgrounds who were affected by the school closures during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hirst stated they eventually raised €3.3 million for the campaign through the profits of Fruitful And Forever.

The print depicts a small section of a canvas. The impressive close-up image demands the viewer appreciates the layers of white, green and pink paint that the artist used in his Cherry Blossom paintings.

H8-4 Forever © Damien Hirst 2020

3. The series consists of two designs, each done in a small or a large size

The signed prints are done with laminated giclée print on aluminium composite panel. The smaller edition is 39cm by 39cm, while the larger edition is 78cm by 78cm.

An image of the artist Damien Hirst lying alongside his works from the series Fruitful And Forever. He is shown wearing a paint-splattered outfit.

Image © Instagram @damienhirst / Damien Hirst alongside his Fruitful And Forever and The Virtues series 2020