The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 26, 2015


Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents open-air sculpture by Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin, Roman Standard, 2013 © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Courtesy the artist, White Cube and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
WAKEFIELD.- This summer, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents a rare example of sculpture in the open air by leading British artist Tracey Emin. Roman Standard, 2013, a delicate blackbird, perched atop a four-metre high pole, takes up residence in the Park’s 18th century-designed Formal Garden.

Tracey Emin says: "Roman Standard presents strength but also femininity. Most public sculptures are a symbol of power which I find oppressive and dark. I wanted something that had a magic and alchemy, something which would appear and disappear and not dominate."

Standards were traditionally carried by the Roman army into battle to instil bravery in their warriors and to symbolise power. The first legion would carry a silver or bronze eagle, with wings spread in dominance. In purposeful contrast, Emin’s Roman Standard features one of Britain’s most common birds, the simple blackbird. The sculpture, although slight and whose bird disappears from view at certain angles, nevertheless has a dignified presence.

Dr Helen Pheby, YSP’s Senior Curator, comments: "We are very grateful to Tracey Emin and White Cube gallery for this generous loan, which can now be experienced by thousands of YSP’s visitors. Within the sanctuary of YSP, Roman Standard acknowledges the power of humility and the heroism of facing personal battles. However, the highly significant sculpture will have individual meaning for all our visitors."

Roman Standard sits amongst the majestic trees in YSP’s Formal Garden, opposite the Park’s award-winning Underground Gallery. The garden, designed as a pleasure ground in the 1700s, offers a tranquil location for Emin’s sculpture.

Emin’s artistic practice is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.

To accompany the open-air work, ceramics by the artist are available to buy from YSP Shop.





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