Audio transcript

Damien Hirst 'Forms Without Life'

Narrator: The British artist Damien Hirst talks about collecting and his work 'Forms Without Life'.

I really like Curiosity Museums. I mean, the stuff I collect, I could really do a Curiosity Museum. I collect odd things, but I wouldn't collect pet frogs or salt & pepper pots. Just odd things that come up. Strange things, I like. I don't collect shells or anything like that. I mean, I collect them for an artwork. I just like the idea of that kind of beauty after death. The shells are beautiful and people always associate them with beauty, but then they did actually belong to a life-form at some point which is now dead. So in a way, there's that kind of morbid element to it, which is lost because we're so accustomed now to seeing shells. And I think, just the fact that they're from an alien environment to us makes them interesting in their own right. But there's another piece to that which is a table that has got shells laid out on it, like a kind of nature table at school and it's called 'Life Without You'. So the two are really meant to go together, so it's 'Forms Without Life' and 'Life Without You'. I think it's just amazing really, if you think about it in terms of your own death, then if you think that there is some beauty beyond death, then I think it's a lot easier to deal with it, than this big horrible, black full stop. I mean, I do like the idea of making collections, because by making collections you make connections, which can be very minor. I think it's a good way of looking at the world. It's like a grid over a landscape, it's like using some mathematical logic to understand something which is basically emotional, I guess.