Damien Hirst

Taytu Betul

Laminated Giclee print on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter

Edition of 2814

100 x 100 cm

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About the work

'The Empresses' encapsulates Hirst's exploration of butterfly symbolism and historical narratives, intertwining themes of power, stability, and beauty. A series of five laminated Giclée prints on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter, these meticulous compositions paired with vibrant imagery, invite viewer to contemplate the intricate interplay between life, death, and the enduring allure of transformation. Named after the formidable Empress of Ethiopia, 'Taytu Betul' exudes a palpable sense of motion and velocity. Following her marriage to Emperor Menelik in 1889, Taytu Betul emerged as a staunch defender of Ethiopian sovereignty, adamantly resisting imperialism and instrumental in the founding of Addis Ababa. The composition centers on a spiraling arrangement of red and black butterfly wings, evoking the dynamism of Taytu Betul's leadership and her active engagement in defending Ethiopian borders. The focal point of 'Taytu Betul' is the spiraling formation of wings, extending outward from the center with a momentum reminiscent of the Empress's military campaigns. Surrounding this central motif are additional arrangements of wings in various colors and patterns, serving as a backdrop to the main action. The composition offers viewers an aerial perspective, capturing the energy and movement of the butterflies in flight as they swirl and develop dynamically across the print.

Signature: Hand signed and numbered on label verso

Medium: Laminated Giclee print on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter

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Taytu Betul

Damien Hirst

Taytu Betul