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 Tracey Emin, Olympic torchbearer, Margate
Tracey Emin Chosen As Margates Official Olympic Torchbearer - ArtLyst Article image

Tracey Emin Chosen As Margates Official Olympic Torchbearer

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The unstoppable British Artist Tracey Emin has been asked by Margate council to carry the Olympic torch through the town as part of a Nationwide event . The Olympic flame was handed over to organisers of the London Games at a ceremony in Athens on 17 May.

Spyros Capralos, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, passed the flame to Princess Anne, president of the British Olympic Association in the Panathenaic Stadium. It was lit in Olympia on 10 May and the flame was taken on a week-long tour of Greece. The British delegation including David Beckham and Lord Coe have stated in a speech, that It will be carried 8,000 miles (12,875km) by 8,000 bearers in a 70-day relay ending at the Olympic Park. The relay began at Land's End on Saturday 19 May where triple Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie was the first to carry the torch on British soil. The route of the torch sees it arriving in Hamstreet at 10:30 BST on 18 July to begin its journey through the county, visiting Dover Castle and the Channel Tunnel on the same day. On 19 July the relay will begin in Deal before visiting Canterbury Cathedral and the Turner Contemporary Gallery. And on the following day the relay will start in Maidstone at 06:42 and visit Mote Park. It will criss cross every region of the UK, before the flame will be used to light the cauldron in Stratford's Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.

48-year-old Emin whose exhibition ‘She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea’,opened today (26 May) in her hometown of Margate, as part of the Cultural Olympiad, will pause outside the Turner Contemporary gallery which houses her summer show. She will be one of the key runners on the 19 July, as the Olympic flame takes four days to work through the Kent coastal area, prior to entering the Olympic city of London. A local Kent newspaper informed us that, The relay’s visit to Kent will include the torch being rowed along the River Medway, in Maidstone and taking in Brands Hatch, the venue of the Paralympic Road Cycling competitions in September.

Tracey's exhibition has received mixed reviews, from a sometimes hostile London press. She remains extremely popular in her hometown and has done much to promote local tourism in the area, as well as playing an active role in getting the fabulous  Turner Contemporary Gallery built ,in the faded seaside resort.
The work in the exhibition features gouaches, neons, monoprints, embroideries, sculptures and tapestries.  As with most of her oeuvre the subject of love, sex and eroticism presides but the overall feeling is that a more grown-up Emin is evident, one who is less angry at the world. The title of the exhibition in aquamarine blue is situated in the stairwell creating a moody introduction to the gallery space. A second neon in green, situated on the balcony overlooking the sea, consists of a horizontal figure while a small painting on the wall next to it reads I Said No.  The juxtaposition of words and drawings continues in the next gallery where poignant messages such as The confusion is I Love you, No temptation no love  and I am telling you it hurt are set against a series of gouache drawings.  You do come away impressed by Emin’s output.  However, it is at times uneven but the way it is displayed makes it impressive.  The works are multi hung and scattered on the large walls with high ceilings bathed in natural light creating an emotional energy.  My favourite pieces were the tapestries including Thank you and Keeping You in Mind sewn in subtle colours of greys, yellows, beige and pinks and the embroidered works on calico.  I found the last room with the two sculptures Dead Sea and Self Portrait with my Eyes Closed to be the least impressive but maybe this was after having seen the beautiful and moving Rodins in the previous gallery. Emin was also chosen as one of the twelve artists to design an official Olympic poster.

Photo:©ArtLyst 2012 LtoR Victoria Pomery, Tracey Emin Ruth Mackenzie

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