H6-9 Water is a Diasec-mounted giclée print on aluminium composite panel, produced by contemporary artist, Damien Hirst in 2020. The print depicts concentric circles composed of thousands of butterflies. Spiralling outwards from a large, blue butterfly in the centre of the print, the image has an almost hypnotic effect, capturing the viewer’s attention, pushing them to look closely at the circles and their composition. Different shades of blue dominate the print, emblematic of the element the print represents, ‘Water’.
Water is one of four prints that compose The Elements series. This series is inspired by the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. For thousands of years, it was believed that these four elements made up and influenced all matter in the universe. Hirst has long been interested in the representation of the elements, as evidenced in his 1992 artwork, Pharmacy in which he produced four glass bottles, filled with coloured liquids to represent each of the elements.
In Water, Hirst returns to one of his most well-known motifs, the butterfly. Like Hirst’s Kaleidoscope series and the Mandala paintings, butterflies play a central role in the creative process of the print. When looked at from a distance, it seems as if the print is simply composed of geometric shapes. Taking a closer look at the composition, however, reveals the butterflies that make up the intricate patterns.