Shortly after graduating from Goldsmiths, in 1989, Hirst began working on a series of paintings after seeing flies get stuck on primed canvases in his Brixton studio. Taking this idea, but wanting to create something beautiful, Hirst started fixing the bodies of dead butterflies to monochrome gloss-painted canvases. The appeal of butterflies is created largely by the appearance of life they retain in death. Hirst has said, “I think rather than be personal you have to find universal triggers: everyone’s frightened of glass, everyone’s frightened of sharks, everyone loves butterflies.”
"A symbol of hope" as Hirst has expressed throughout his career, the rainbow has been vastly used throughout the history of art - spanning more than 800 years. One of that most enigmatic weather phenomena, the rainbow: from Noah's sign and the Book of Revelation, through to 18th-century optics, the epic landscapes of Romanticism, and modernist abstraction.
"I love colour. How can you not?" has said Hirst. Another way that rainbows provide us with hope and motivation is by being a symbol for good luck. Rainbows are often thought to bring good fortune.