Image: Tracey Emin, Exploration of the Soul, 1994 © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2013
Tracey Emin was born in 1963 in Croydon, London and grew up in the seaside town of Margate. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1999 and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2007. In 2011 she was made the Royal Academy's Professor of Drawing, one of the first two female professors in the history of the institution.
Emin gained notoriety as one of the Young British Artists (YBAs) in the early 1990s and has since become one of the most famous female artists to emerge from the UK. In her installation, My Bed (1998), she laid her private life bare for public view. This raw presentation of the most intimate corner of her life has become the hallmark of Emin’s practice, which encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, video and installations, all with an intensely personal touch that focuses on the artist’s body, autobiography and confession. She states, ‘I am interested in life; art for me should be an experience.’
Exploration of the Soul (1994) is a handmade book chronicling the first 13 years of Emin’s life from conception to the loss of her virginity; the artist travelled across America reading from the book while sitting in a chair owned by her grandmother. Something’s Wrong (2002) is a self-portrait in cloth and embroidery which shows the artist gathering a mass of appliqued coins between her legs; perhaps an allusion to the wealth generated from the spilling of secrets.