Damien Hirst Donation Unveiled

Posted on: 25 May 2021

A beautiful artwork by Damien Hirst, titled Butterfly Rainbow, which was donated to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was unveiled at Northern General Hospital on Wednesday 19 May. Chief Executive Kirsten Major unveiled the artwork, which will be permanently displayed at the main entrance of the Huntsman building in Northern General Hospital.

The artwork, created by Hirst, was one of more than 60 prints offered to various hospital Trusts across the country, and is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best‐known motifs.

Prints were offered for sale at the start of the pandemic and all profits, a total of £1,508,172, from the sales of Butterfly Rainbow were donated to NHS Charities Together, the organisation that represents and supports the official NHS charities working across the UK. Damien Hirst said, “I wanted to do something to support the many people who are risking their lives to help those in need during this time of crisis. The rainbow is a sign of hope and I’m so pleased to have released these prints to help fund the brilliant work being done by NHS staff across the country.”

The unveiling was attended by Kirsten Major, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Kirsten said, “I was absolutely delighted today to be able to unveil one of the limited edition prints created by Damien Hirst in appreciation of the NHS and all it has done through the pandemic. It is located at the main entrance to the Huntsman Building at the Northern General Hospital, one of our very highest levels of footfall and so will be seen by huge numbers of people.  The Butterfly Rainbow captures perfectly the support shown by the public for the NHS throughout the pandemic and we are so pleased to have received it and to be able to put on show in such a prominent location in Sheffield.”

Chris Anthony, Director of Finance at the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, was also present, and said, “It was fantastic to see the unveiling of the Damien Hirst rainbow, the charity has always been proud to support the important work done by the Arts in Health team and we are pleased to be able to do so with this. 

If the past year has shown us anything it is the dedication of our amazing NHS heroes and this has been symbolised by the Rainbow so this painting will be a lasting tribute to that.”

Emma Scott, Voluntary Services Manager, who manages the Arts in Health team at the Trust said, “Here in the Arts in Health team, we are always looking for ways to brighten the hospital and make it more inviting for patients and staff. We couldn’t turn down the opportunity to receive one of these artworks which is a big thank you to all staff for their sacrifices this year for which we are truly grateful.”

Framing and installation of this piece was kindly funded by supporters of Sheffield Hospitals Charity. 

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The Arts in Health team relies on the goodwill of our dedicated team of volunteers. We also regularly work with professional artists and musicians on a variety of creative projects across the Trust.