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Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Etching, 2009
Signed Print Edition of 59
H 99cm x W 98cm

Critical Review

The titles of the Sanctum series are informed by different architectural aspects of cathedrals. This is indicative of the way that the intricate patterns of the prints reflect stained glass windows and religious iconography. Alongside the other prints in the series, Spire represents Hirst’s desire to bring together themes of science, aesthetics and religion through the leitmotif of the butterfly.

The Sanctum series is indicative of Hirst’s obsession with butterflies and every print uses hundreds of butterfly wings to form its beautiful pattern. For Hirst, the butterfly is a ‘universal trigger’ that many people share in finding attractive and joyous. Recalling someone once saying to him: “Butterflies are beautiful, but it’s a shame they have disgusting hairy bodies in the middle,” Hirst in works like this chose only to display the dazzling wings in Spire.