I expected to be shocked and I expected to be revolted, and at times I was both, but I did not expect to see something of such spellbinding beauty.
We'd spent the morning in the National Gallery, until my son could bear his 'cultural education' no longer. Then, after our designer sandwiches, we were off to the Tate Modern. The Damien Hirst exhibition was my teenage daughter's idea, so I did try and go with an open mind.
The halved cow and calf were rather less fascinating than I'd expected. The fly-covered meat turned my stomach and the medicine cabinets left me perplexed.
My 'wow' moment was the triptych 'Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven', a set of three collages of butterfly wings styled like stained glass windows. The colours and composition were stunning as you can see here. And then, just as I was lulled into a false sense of aesthetic pleasure, I walked into the next gallery to be confronted with a huge circle of dead flies glued to the wall.
I'm never sure if I understand modern art, or indeed if this was art at all. I feel much more comfortable standing in front of a Constable or a Van Gogh, but this was a provoking experience, and I'm very pleased I've been.
The Damien Hirst exhibition runs at the Tate Modern until 9th September.