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Damien Hirst donates artwork to UHBW as part of national collaborative hospital arts project

Last updated: 16/10/2020

The Arts and Culture Programme at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), are thrilled to have received a donation of a limited edition Damien Hirst Butterfly Rainbow artwork. Damien Hirst is one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists whose critical acclaim extends internationally. The artwork will be displayed at each of the ten hospital sites across Bristol and Weston in the next few months so that as many patients and staff as possible will be able to enjoy this symbol of hope. 

In May 2020, Damien Hirst created Butterfly Rainbow to show support for the NHS in the Coronavirus crisis. The work is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best-known motifs.

A limited edition series (copies of the original artwork) were produced and sold by Damien Hirst with all profits from the sales - a total of £1,508,172 - donated to NHS Charities Together. NHS Charities Together is an organisation which represents, supports and champions NHS Charities including the UHBW official hospital charity, Above & Beyond.

Alongside this a small number of the limited edition pieces were also gifted to selected hospitals and UHBW were fortunate to receive one.

Damien Hirst said: "I wanted to do something to support the many people who are risking their lives to help those in need during this time of crisis. The rainbow is a sign of hope and I’m so pleased to have released these prints to help fund the brilliant work being done by NHS staff across the country."

 Anna Farthing, arts programme director for University Hospital’s Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Working collaboratively with other hospital arts programmes during the pandemic has enabled us to engage with artists of the highest calibre to bring uplifting, colourful and inspiring artwork and creative activities to our hospitals. We are incredibly grateful to Damien Hirst, and also to Laura Waters of Air Arts at University Hospitals Derby and Burton. By working in partnership, we have been able to acquire the generous gift of this beautiful and contemplative artwork.”

The picture will tour the various sites of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston. In each place it is shown, it will be accompanied by an opportunity to donate to the Above & Beyond charity, so that the UHBW Arts and Culture Programme can continue to brighten hospital spaces and provide images of hope during these challenging times.

For further information, contact artsandculture@uhbw.nhs.uk.

For any media enquiries, please contact the UHBW press office: pressoffice@uhbw.nhs.uk.