Tracey Emin has collected her CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in a ceremony held on Friday 7 March. The artist stated; “I think Buckingham Palace is pretty rock ‘n’ roll and quite wild. I haven’t changed what I do to be standing here today. I was the only artist here today and I think it’s really brilliant that art is appreciated in Britain.
Tracey Emin was born in London and brought up in Margate on the South East Coat of England. She studied at Maidstone College of Art and later at the Royal College of Art in London. She talks frequently and without irony about her soul. In this she is unique among her peers. Like Egon Schiele and Frida Kahlo whom she much admires, her subject is herself: the traumatic episodes and periods of despair in her past, and a revelatory, stream of consciousness expose the darker moments of her present. The work represents an act of unsqueamish honesty, which seems to be a point of honour for the artist. In her work and in interviews she slices through prejudice and preconception. She turns anecdotes of rape, abortion and drunkenness from a humiliating over-exposure of her vulnerability to confrontational effect, and so lays claim to a degree of universality. Her work is highly narrative, trading in overt and sometimes mawkish sentimentality, and an explicit sexuality which contravenes all traditional codes of feminine behaviour. Her choice of media, the embroidery, quilt making, and diary-like narratives however, could be seen as consistent with 19th Century models of female accomplishment.
Emin was honoured for her services to the arts.