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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Hirst inspired by hot air
Damien Hirst
Hirst: His work is designed to provoke a reaction
Conceptual artist Damien Hirst has announced the creation of a giant new artwork to publicise the issue of green house gases in the atmosphere.

The controversial British artist will represent the amount of carbon dioxide he generates in a year - about 15 tonnes - by arranging 441 empty gas canisters in a block.


I thought it would be great to make something which actually shows your carbon dioxide emissions

Damien Hirst
The canisters, each of which is six feet tall and formerly contained carbon dioxide, are arranged in 24 wire cages around an empty square.

Hirst, who has worked with environmental group Future Forests in recent years, said: "I just like the idea of being able to put something back.

"It just seems to be very direct and really straight forward, without being hippified."

Damien Hirst
Hirst is a supporter of forestry conservation
He added: "I was doing some work using gas cylinders and I started thinking about how much space that stuff filled.

"Then I thought it would be great to make something which actually physically shows your carbon dioxide emissions - otherwise it's just a figure on paper."

Communication

Future Forest's co-founder Dan Morrell said the support of the high-profile artist was important

He said: "Pop culture has a huge communication capacity and Damien's ideas, along with those from the music community, have encouraged environmentalism in big corporations and government."

Pharmacy piece
Hirst's Pharmacy pieces: Now worth up to 60,000
"Global warming is one of the biggest issues facing us and we can all be empowered to do something about it by switching to renewable energy, creating less CO2 through efficiency and planting beautiful forests to offset the balance," added Mr Morrell.

But Future Forests said no decision had been made on where Hirst's new work would be exhibited.

Hirst is one of the best-known members of the generation of conceptual artists called Young British Artists.

He has prodcued some of the movement's iconic works - such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, consisting of a whole shark in a display case.

See also:

21 Nov 01 | New Media
Hirst's Pharmacy goes online
01 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Mystery woman finds hidden Hirst
03 Apr 00 | UK
Art Hirst and foremost
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