Damien Hirst

Trinity - Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology (2000)

About this artwork

In this work Hirst brings together three cabinets filled with plastic medical models, most of which would have been purchased from supply catalogues. The format of the work, with one larger cabinet flanked by two smaller ones, is akin to a religious triptych, while the title, Trinity, refers to the Christian idea of the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Hirst’s Catholic upbringing is one of the key factors to an understanding of his work. He uses pharmaceutical products as a modern metaphor for religion: both are employed to combat, and come to terms with, death.

  • title: Trinity - Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology
  • accession number: AR00500
  • artist: Damien HirstEnglish (born 1965)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Medicine and science
  • date created: 2000
  • measurements: 274.50 x 183.50 x 47.20 cm; two vitrines, each: 213.50 x 153.00 x 47.20 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 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

Hirst was born in Bristol and grew up in Leeds, moving to London in 1986 to study at Goldsmith's College. While still a student, he organised the enormously successful 'Freeze' exhibition, which featured his own work as well as that of fellow students. This brought him to the attention of the highly influential art collector Charles Saatchi and is generally seen as the starting point for the 'Young British Artists' movement. The central theme of Hirst's work is mortality. He is best known for the 'Natural History' series of works, in which dead animals are preserved in tanks. He is also interested in medical paraphernalia and has produced series of spot paintings, spin paintings and steel and glass cases.