The English seaside town of Margate has had a strong impact on artist Tracey Emin's output, inspiring everything from her intense neon pieces to the embroidered statements emblazoned on appliquéd blankets and chairs. 'Whatever I do, part of Margate always comes with me,' she once declared. So it is with much excitement (and nervousness) that Emin embarks on her first major exhibition in the town of her childhood.
Hot on the heels of the London-based artist's 2011 'Love is What You Want' retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, 'She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea' is a specially-conceived show for Margate. Visitors expecting to see evidence of Emin's dysfunctional childhood will be in for a surprise. The artist seems to have made peace with her troubled past in this confrontation-free show, instead exploring themes of love, sex and eroticism. For Emin, these echo the spirit of Margate: 'There is an eroticism here, it's a very passionate place, it's very gritty,' she said in a recent interview with art historian Tim Marlow.
The show takes place at Turner Contemporary, David Chipperfield's landmark building, which dominates the seafront next to the harbour. Displayed throughout the gallery is a showcase of over 100 mostly-new works, including drawings, monoprints, sculptures, tapestries, embroideries and neons.