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Yorkshire Sculpture Park 16th September Damien Hirst

“Art comes from everywhere.
It’s your response to your surroundings.”

D. Hirst

Following on from my previous blog on the YSP I was so interested by the Damien Hirst pieces I decided to research him further.
There were several things that interested me about these works. The use of colour, the impressive scale of the work and that face that they were a response to something that already existed.
I recognised the shape of Degas’s “The Little Dancer aged fourteen” 1880 from a distance. Her stance, the positioning of her head and the arm behind her back are all distinctively “The Little Dancer aged fourteen.”

The Virgin Mother 2005 – 2006

Up-close the use of Degas work is obvious, there is even a description board which confirms this.

In his version Hirst has chosen to show the girl naked, skin half flayed back and pregnant. Whilst on first view some may be shocked at this depiction, it is perhaps the natural conclusion to the life of (Marie van Goethem – Degas’s Model) as the girls were expected to have sex with the “gentlemen” that frequented the ballet and she was dismissed from the Ballet quite soon after the sculpture was completed.

Two of the other pieces shown here are also directly influenced by other known work.

The Hat Makes the Man by Max Ernst 1920
Collage of gouache, pencil, oil, and ink on cut-and-pasted printed paper on board.

Image from MOMA

I decided to put my spin on this picture. With beards being so fashionable currently it seems like today it is the “Beard that makes the Man” I have included this collage I made from my sketchbook.

The Hat Makes the Man D. Hirst 2004 – 2007

Hirst originally made his using wooden doors. He later had it cast in bronze and painted. I was fascinated by just how realistic the painted bronze looked.

I really enjoyed this piece and loved how differently it looked from the myriad of viewpoints it afforded.

Lastly there is Charity, a 22 foot painted bronze .

Charity is based on the original Spastics Society (now ‘Scope’) collection box usually placed outside high-street chemist shops in the 60’s and 70’s.

Charity 2002 – 2003 D.Hirst

In Hirst’s sculpture a crowbar has been included and her collection money has been robbed.
As a child of the 70’s it was lovely to see something again that has been part of my own childhood. I remember asking my mum and dad for money to put in her box and patting her on the head as I walked by.

Original collection box. Photo from

All photos are my own, unless stated.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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