Damien Hirst

Away from the Flock

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About this artwork

With this work Hirst is forcing us to focus on the humble sheep, an animal that has been providing us with food and warmth for centuries, transforming it from the mundane into something special. Its title, ‘Away from the Flock’, is a term we associate with religion, specifically Christianity, – "to leave the flock" is to leave behind the protection of the church. Hirst draws on precedents in earlier British art. In a famous painting by Holman Hunt, called ‘Our English Coasts’ or ‘Strayed Sheep’ 1852, the pre-Raphaelite artist shows straying sheep putting themselves at danger on the cliffs of southern England – a clear reference to religious decay. Although obviously dead and pickled in formaldehyde, the sheep in Hirst’s work looks oblivious to its fate and seems to be prancing with life.

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  • title:
    Away from the Flock
  • accession number:
    AR00499
  • artist:
    Damien HirstEnglish (born 1965)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Glass, stainless steel, Perspex, acrylic paint, lamb and formaldehyde solution
  • date created:
    1994
  • measurements:
    96.00 x 149.00 x 51.00 cm
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright:
    © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst