Imagine standing next to a glass box full of maggots turning into flies, watching them eat a great chunk of meat, oozing with blood, surrounded by their dead family that have been killed by an electric insectocutor, and you're inside the Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern. However it's not all that gruesome, as the dead, the dying and the disgusting are juxtaposed by immense beauty.
One very popular room is full of live butterflies. Hirst had their eggs implanted into canvases, so that you can see their abandoned chrysalises. The butterflies seem to be enjoying their short lives, as they fly round, snacking at the plentiful fruit placed on tables, and drinking from plant pots. It is stunning walking into that room, and little children absolutely love it, especially right after they've seen the frightening, open mouthed (dead) shark kept in formaldehyde in the room before!
Of course it's cruel, and I'm not saying it's right, but you have to expect that if you're going to a Damien Hirst exhibition. And what is art if it doesn't provoke an emotion from the viewer, even if that emotion is anger or disgust? It's not the best place for vegans or animal rights activists, but it is fascinating, and there is even beauty in the horrific, such as the stain glass window patterns made out of (real) butterfly wings.
If you fancy a day out in London, then I'd really recommend this exhibition. If you do go, prepare to be shocked!
On another, slightly less gruesome note, I finally finished exams (!!!!!!!!!!) so to celebrate I'm going away for a few days with some friends. I'm escaping this dreary weather with... more dreary weather. Ah well, at least I can leave with the thought that I never have to wear school uniform again, plus I never have to have another maths or science exam again! I've got 70 days of summer and I'm going to enjoy every last moment.
(P.s. I hope you like my new blog design! A massive thank you to Jo-Anne for helping me with it, I don't know what I'd do without her!)