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Monday, 18 June 2012

Spin Painting With Damien Hirst

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to take a colleague and a group of 8 children to Covent Garden to see artist Damien Hirst create his famous Spin Painting art. At the event organised by Tate Modern my talented group of eight met, spoke and worked alongside Hirst and his team from Science LTD. 
Damien Hirst and Camila Batmanghelidjh creating a spin painting

The scene before the painting commenced

After placing on their wristbands and “I o DH” badge, the children chose a template from a selection of six images that related to Hirst’s catalogue of work. These included a sharks head, a rocket, a heart, a spot, a butterfly and a skull. The children then patiently waited their turn to create their own unique piece of spin art with the assistance of Hirst, Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh, Michelle Ackerley from Blue Peter and of course Hirst’s expert team Science LTD. The paintings are made by first pinning the template to the turntable, applying a coat of water to the surface of the template before rotating the template on a flat turntable while brightly coloured paints are poured onto it by the children from above.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the event, exploring art in a public space and discovering the amazing sights and sounds that London offers. It was inspiring to see their eyes light up at seeing tourist attractions they had never seen before, the eagerness to document the day with photographs and sketches –plus watching them create colourful, stunning artwork.
The event was held in aid of children’s Kids Company, which works to support London’s most vulnerable children with practical, emotional and educational support. 
Hirst, an advocate of Kids Company’s use of art therapy, describes the spin paintings as  “a massive explosion of energy - full of life, colour and optimism,” Hirst said. “All children are artists, so it's great to be getting all these kids together in Covent Garden to make them.”
Hirst’s first interest in spin art arose as a child after seeing the paintings made at school fĂȘtes. Since the early 1990s, he has continued to work on the series which he describes as ‘childish in the positive sense of the word’. Hirst first made spin paintings in the early 1990s and several are on show at the major Hirst retrospective currently at Tate Modern. Check out for more information on this fantastic exhibition.

The card the children were given to select their Damien Hirst themed template from

The selected template is pinned to the turntable by one of the Science LTD team

Once pinned the template receives a layer of water, this will add to the movement of the paint

The children squirt and lay paint over the top of the template

The Science LTD team encourage the children to lay on plenty of colour. It's at this point I smile with pride at the use of complementary colours - now I know they listen to me when I am harping on about colour theory!!!

How beautiful does this butterfly look?

Spin painting in progress

Damien Hirst displaying his painting which will be auctioned off in October to raise funds for the Kids Company

A selection of the 40 plus paintings produced by the children will go on temporary exhibition at Covent Garden as of tomorrow (June 19th), before they are returned to the children.
A spin painting Hirst created this morning with Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh will be auctioned at the charity’s Gala Dinner in October of this year.

Damien Hirst and Camila Batmanghelidjh

Damien Hirst being interviewed by Michelle Ackerley from Blue Peter

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