Tracey Emins first exhibition in her home town opened at Turner Contemporary
on 26 May 2012. She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea: Tracey Emin at Turner Contemporary is conceived specially for Margate, where Emin grew up and which has provided inspiration for many of her most famous art works. The exhibition is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
The exhibition explores the themes of love, sex and eroticism in Emins oeuvre. It features new works, including drawings, monoprints, sculptures, tapestries, embroideries and neons and have been installed throughout Turner Contemporarys suite of first-floor galleries.
The central themes are continued in a group of sketches and paintings of erotic subjects by Tracey Emin, JMW Turner and Auguste Rodin, whose iconic sculpture The Kiss is on show in the Sunley Gallery at Turner Contemporary. This section of the exhibition considers the artists in terms of their shared fascination with female sexuality and the varying means by which they explore the subject.
Tracey Emin said: "I still can't really believe that I'm showing in Margate. Even in my wildest dreams I could never believe there would be a gallery like Turner Contemporary there. So on one level I'm really chuffed and excited but on another I am as nervous as hell. The brilliant thing about Margate is it's one hour from London on the train so I'm hoping lots of people will come and visit not just my show but the beautiful sunsets and sandy beaches."
Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary said: We are thrilled to be working with Tracey on this exhibition of new work, which considers Traceys extensive oeuvre in a new light.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: Tracey Emins first major exhibition in her home town of Margate at the wonderful new Turner Contemporary gallery is precisely the kind of once-in-a-lifetime event that is the special characteristic of the London 2012 Festival. We are delighted that the exhibition is free so that everybody will have the chance to join in something they may never experience again. We want this to be a summer of unforgettable art as well as sport.
A fully illustrated catalogue is available to accompany the exhibition.
Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally, including solo exhibitions Love is What You Want, Hayward Gallery, London (2011), Do Not Abandon Me, Hauser & Wirth, London (with Louise Bourgeois) (2011), Walking with Tears Royal Academy of Art, London (2010). In 2008 Emin held her first major retrospective Tracey Emin 20 Years at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which subsequently toured to Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga (2008) and Kunstmuseum Bern (2009). Previous major shows include This is Another Place, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2002), Ten Years. Tracey Emin, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002), I Need Art Like I Need God, South London Gallery, London (1997) and Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (1998). She has also participated in a number of major international group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, Australia, The United States and Chile. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, London, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. She lives and works in London.