“When the light shines through these panels, it feels like [the butterflies] are brought back to life in some way.”
Lalique is entering a new phase of development and modernization within this process the brand decided to open up the crystal works to new artists, to offer a new perspective, new formal possibilities and renewed creative inspiration to some exceptional talents. The first artist to lay his hands on Lalique crystal is Damien Hirst. Perfect choice, since he embodies his generation of artists, unafraid to embark on experiments, calling into question the strict definitions of art and what constitutes a work of art. Hope, Love and Beauty, preserving their image in crystal for all eternity, symbolised by the butterfly and presented in three forms:
In Damien Hirst’s work, the insect also serves as a reminder of the fragility of life. The panels filter the light, which is in turn rendered blue, pink, amber, green, violet, black or clear.
The diversity of colours combined with the three varieties of butterfly allows for a multiplicity of choices. So, if “it is the beholder who makes the picture”, the choice of panel will inevitably reveal something of the viewer themselves.
“I see butterflies as souls and part of a wider visual language. I’ve always described them as universal triggers; everyone loves them because of their incredible abstract fragility and beauty. It’s an interesting example of how we use nature to try and express the inexpressible: love, desire, belief and the eternal. They’re really old ideas, butterflies are used in Christian iconography to symbolize the resurrection, and by the ancient Greeks, for the soul. I’ve always loved that they look identical in life and in death, but when the light shines through these panels, it feels like they’re brought back to life in some way.”
More about Damien Hirst: Since the late 1980s, Hirst has used a varied practice of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationships between art, life and death, explaining: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.” Through work that includes the iconic shark in formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and For the Love of God (2007), a platinum cast of a skull set with 8,601 flawless pavé-set diamonds, he investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the uncertainties at the heart of human experience. Hirst lives and works in Gloucester, Devon and London.