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Damien Hirst's 'New Religion' at The Lightbox

March 27, 2015 by Ishah

'Science seems to be the one right now. Like religion, it provides the glimmer of hope that maybe it will be all right in the end'. Damien Hirst, New Religion 2005.


The Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking, Surrrey is one of the most exciting cultural spaces in the South East and will be hosting Damien Hirst's, 'New Religion' from Saturday the 28th of March until the 5th of July 2015. First exhibited at the Paul Stolper Gallery in central London 2005, New Religion has since toured to Oslo, Moscow, Venice, Sofia and now showing in the UK after ten years.

The exhibition will include a cedarwood crucifix inlayed with pewter pills, silkscreen prints depicting biblical chapters with images of corresponding medication, paintings and sculptural editions such as; 'The Eucharist', a large scale paracetamol carved entirely from marble. Another piece to show at The Lightbox is, 'The Fate of Man', a twelve-year-old child's skull cast in silver, revealing adult teeth waiting to pierce through which highlights the awfulness of death. All pieces juxtapose religious imagery with clinical beauty of pharmaceuticals and the brutal realism of the medical procedure. 


The eternal themes of mortality and faith, combined with a fascination with science and technology, have been central to the practice of Damien Hirst's work. 'New Religion' juxtaposes religious imagery with the clinical beauty of pharmaceuticals and the brutal realism of medical procedures. Hirst says, 'I want people to think, mainly. In this instance, I want people to think about the combination of science and religion. People tend to think of them as two very separate things, one cold and clinical, the other emotional, loving and warm. I wanted to leap over those boundaries and give you something that looks clinical and cold but has all the religious, metaphysical connotations, too'.

The interview with Hirst by Sean O'Hagan can be found in the New Religion book published by Other Criteria and Paul Stolper in 2006.