Jarvis Cocker, Damien Hirst, and the Graves Gallery

In January this year everyone at Museums Sheffield was floored by the news that our bid for Arts Council ‘major grant’ funding had been turned down.  We were devastated, but before long we began to feel heartened by the tidal wave of support which was building amongst people in Sheffield who really care about the cultural life of the city.

Sheffield might not have the clout of bigger northern cities like Manchester and Leeds, but we can count on some very loyal fans in high places. So we were chuffed when Jarvis Cocker got in touch with an offer to express his support by lending us the painting he’d just been given by Damien Hirst: Beautiful Morana Dysgeusia Painting for Jarvis (with Diamonds).  It’s not every day the lead singer of Pulp offers to let you borrow a picture by a leading light of the Young British Artists movement. We said yes please.

The painting was installed in the Graves Gallery this week, and is a really strong addition to our contemporary display, helping to tell the story of contemporary British art alongside work by artists such as Marc Quinn, Bridget Riley, and Sam Taylor-Wood. Damien Hirst’s work still attracts controversy, so we’re fascinated to know what visitors will think of it, but to make your mind up you need to see this painting in the flesh – the scale alone is impressive. The picture is set to be on display at the Graves for the next three years.

Our efforts to make sure Sheffield gets a fair share of national funding continue. In the meantime, we think it’s great that fans of the city are taking an interest  – thanks Jarvis!

Image: Curator Louisa Briggs and Beautiful Morana Dysgeusia Painting for Jarvis (with Diamonds) by Damien Hirst

Jul 18 2012


  1. Written by jo newbold about 2 years, 11 months ago

    I visited Graves Gallery this week with my friend Yvonne, we come to look at art in Sheffield every few months, but had not been to Graves for over a year. The spiral picture by Hirst is absolutely stunning. you do really have to see it up close to appreciate its transcendent beauty. On the surface it appears to be a random splashing of paint to create a pattern, but closer inspection reveals an intricate order of colour and form that mesemerises and enthralls the viewer.
    The information provided , about Hirst making the spiral for Jarvis Cocker, then Jarvis donating it to the gallery seems to enhance enjoyment of the piece, knowing a bit more about its story put a smile on my face and the whole experience of seeing it in Graves will stay with me for a long time. Thank you Graves and thank you jarvis Cocker!!

    Jo Newbold from Sheffield

  2. Written by Luke R about 2 years, 10 months ago

    I really enjoyed my visit to the Graves gallery, the gallery had a wonderful feel and the Warhol exhibition was beautiful. How wonderful that a Mr Jarvis Cocker loaned this piece of work to the gallery, we can see how doing a big blue peter homage and whacking diamonds on it really helps one visiting the museum to appreciate the Warhol exhibition even more.

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