1 September 2012
As Hirst explains in an interview to be shown on Thursday's programme, the spin painting series was partially inspired by John Noakes’ 1975 demonstration of spin art on Blue Peter. His interest was then fuelled by seeing spin stalls at school fêtes and he began work on the seminal series in 1992. Earlier this month, the iconic status of the series was cemented when Hirst was commissioned to create a giant Union Jack spin painting – ‘Beautiful Union Jack Celebratory Patriotic Olympic Explosion in an Electric Storm Painting’ (2012) – as a backdrop to the London Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.
Blue Peter will also include footage of Hirst showing children how to create their own spin paintings as part of a workshop run by Tate Modern and Covent Garden for local school children and the charity Kids Company in June of this year.
Upon being presented with the Gold badge this week, one of only around 1000, Hirst states: “I always secretly wanted one of those badges with the ship on! I guess this is my gold medal for 2012 and I'm deeply honoured.” Tim Levell, Editor of Blue Peter, commented: “Blue Peter is famous for encouraging children to get up and do something creative. It’s great to see that come full-circle, and for us to present Damien with a gold Blue Peter badge for all he’s done for British art. I imagine a young Damien Hirst watching Blue Peter with wide-eyed wonder and then going out and trying something new that eventually inspired a whole body of his work.”
Major works from the spin painting series are currently on display at Tate Modern as part of the ‘Damien Hirst’ retrospective (until September 9th).