Last year, Tracey Emin granted fans access to never-before-seen work from early on in her career through the release of her self-titled visual book. Now, the British artist has announced that she will turn her Margate studio into a museum for her works – but not until after her death.
Speaking on The Art Newspaper podcast, Emin explained that the museum will be a “great legacy” for the town which she grew up in. She explained: “I haven’t bought the studio to avoid tax and do the foundation thing now. I’ll do it when I’m dead.”
The 30,000 sq. ft space will feature a large sculpting studio to house her bronze works, a painting studio, living accommodation, and a winter garden. “The studio is big enough for a museum and I’m synonymous with Margate, so that’s a nice thing to look forward to,” she said. “Alright, I might be dead but I might be able to come back and rearrange a few things every now and then.”
Emin also stated that she will begin collecting her biggest works back to feature in the space.“I keep things from a sentimental point of view, but I need to get my act together and start keeping some of the big boys back, otherwise there will be nothing for the museum,” she explained.
The artist continued: “I am not going to be one of those artists who when I’m 70 or 80 I’m buying all my work back to try and fill my museum up. I’ve got to actually make work and save it for that.”
Emin’s most recent IRL exhibition – A Fortnight of Tears at White Cube Bermondsey – features a new series of deeply personal paintings, all dedicated to her mother who died in 2016. After her death, Emin moved back to Margate.
“Margate is hip, it’s better than Shoreditch because it’s got the sea, it’s so beautiful,” she said. “But it’s kind of rough, it’s gritty, it’s not a twee seaside town, it’s got a bit of guts to it.”