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What are ’Seascapes’?

Where the Land Meets the Sea’ features works from Damien Hirst’s latest series ’Coast Paintings’, ’Sea Paintings’ and ’Seascapes’. 

Damien Hirst’s ’Seascapes’ join the photorealistic imagery of his ’Sea Paintings’ series with the expressionistic splatters of his ’Coast Paintings’, capturing the scenes and sensations of crashing seas. 

Produced in 2021, at the base of ’Seascapes’ are duplicates of the 64 photographic works from Hirst’s ’Sea Paintings’ series after images of storms from across the world. These paintings have then been overworked with thrown and more gestural paint, notably using only greyscale colours to mirror the tones of the underlying images. 

Speaking to the relationship between ’Seascapes’ and ’Sea Paintings’, Hirst says, ‘The ’Seascapes’ and ’Sea Paintings’ could maybe be seen in pairs as each series compliments and references the other and in each series, we see two types of action or forces at work. The captured actual energy in thrown and moving thick paint over a carefully painted photographic image and in the other, the faithfully painted reproduction of a captured moment.’ 

The thickly splattered paints in ’Seascapes’ develop on the underlying compositions, apparently imitating the sprays of water that emanate from the waves and creates the feeling of caught moments. Adding a tactile layer of paint to the already energetic images brings the power of nature as depicted in the compositions one step closer to the viewer. 

In ’Seascapes’, Hirst references the iconic work and practice of Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionist painters. In joining abstraction with figuration, splattered and thick blots of paint, ’Sea Paintings’ also reference the Pointillists and figurative, energetic painters like Pierre Bonnard and Georges Seurat.