This exhibition follows the success of Gallery Pangolin and Gloucester Cathedral's first Crucible exhibition in 2010. Two Hirst works are on display within the Cathedral, a black rendering of 'Anatomy of an Angel' (2008), and a recently finished work, 'Fallen Angel' (2008-2014).
'Fallen Angel' is taken from Antonio Canova’s The Repentant Magdalene (c.1794-96). Whilst the original sculpture’s empty palms symbolise Magdalene’s sense of spiritual abandonment on the death of Christ, here she is recreated as an angel fallen from grace; a victim of self-harm and drug abuse. As elsewhere in Hirst’s work, a point of tension is created between the desperate subject matter and the rich materials utilised.
Throughout his career, Hirst has repeatedly employed religious imagery and motifs. In an interview with Gordon Burn from 2000, Hirst explained: ‘I think the science and the art are both lacking in some sort of spirituality. And I think that they're sort of headbutting each other trying to get something like that back. I don't know. I can't quite work it out, but it's something like that. Because there's all these religious references as well. I'm instinctively drawn to these things. If you think art plus the rigour of science equals something spiritual, well, I think it's the other way round... It's an art-science-religion thing that's going on.’