25th July - 27th September 2015
The eternal themes of mortality and faith, combined with a fascination with science and technology, have been central to the practice of Damien Hirst (b. 1965) since he first came to prominence a quarter of a century ago. These preoccupations converge in New Religion (2005), a large-scale installation which juxtaposes religious imagery with the clinical beauty of pharmaceuticals and the brutal realism of medical procedure.
Comprising fifty framed screen-prints, four sculptures, a butterfly painting and a repository of objects, the installation takes the form of a fresco cycle surrounding an altar, which in turn bears a cross studded with gem-like pills, a child’s skull, a pierced heart and a giant marble pill. Brought together, the elements in New Religion present a contemplation of the fragility of life and the endless quest for longevity.