Tracey Emin

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Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin, The only place you came to me was in my sleep (2017). Installation view, Sarvisalo, Finland. Photo: Ollie Harrop

About

Tracey Emin is well known for her autobiographical and emotionally raw work. Once thought of as the enfant terrible of the young British artists who rose to prominence in 1990s London, she is now a member of the British Royal Academy and holds an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art, where she studied in the 1990s.

In Sarvisalo we have installed one of Emin’s simple outdoor bronze works, entitled The only place you came to me was in my sleep (2017). She describes these modest, but tall, sculptures, featuring a pole with a small bird on top, as a symbol of ‘hope, faith and spirituality’ that act as a point of contemplation. The sculpture is Emin’s take on the Roman standard – a pennant, often featuring a heraldic bird such as an eagle, attached to a staff that identified a legion. Emin subverts the militaristic overtones of standard by using a small sculpture of a Sparrow, offering a counterpoint to the monumental outdoor sculptures by producing something that has an imposing stature and scale but a humble visual footprint.

"Most public sculptures are a symbol of power, which I find oppressive and dark, I wanted something that had a magic and an alchemy, something which would appear and disappear and not dominate." - Tracey Emin.

This work has been installed here, looking out to the horizon, in loving memory of Anita Zabludowicz’s father, Harry Steinman, 1925–2018.