Tracey Emin Artwork Stolen From Oxfam

Thief denies charity £300 from sale of embroidered handkerchief by Tracey Emin

A handkerchief embroidered by Tracey Emin has been stolen from Oxfam. Staff at th Herne Hill branch had been overjoyed to find the piece stuffed in a bag of clothes left by an anonymous donor. Bearing the words ‘Be Faithful to your Dreams Tracey Emin 1999’, the handkerchief was given pride of place in the window display.

Branch manager Gokcen Erdinc explained how ‘They were going for up to £600 at auction. [but] We put it in the window for £300 … [as] I thought it would make a nice Christmas present.’ But, on December 21 2011, in the midst of Christmas shopping mayhem, the piece disappeared from the shop window. Upon hearing the news, Tracey Emin demanded that the work be returned: ‘I am appalled and the person should return it by post’, she exclaimed.

Anyone with information is asked to call Southwark CID on 020 7232 6641 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tracey Emin shot to fame in the 1990s as one of the leading members of the Young British Artists movement.  In 1997, her work Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, was shown at Charles Saatchi’s New Sensations exhibition and, in same year, she gained considerable media exposure when she appeared drunk and swearing on a live Channel 4 TV discussion.

In 1999, she was a Turner Prize nominee and exhibited My Bed — an installation, consisting of her own unmade dirty bed with used condoms and blood-stained underwear. In March 2007, Emin was chosen to join the Royal Academy of Arts in London as a Royal Academician. She represented Britain at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Her first major retrospective 20 Years was held in Edinburgh 2008, and toured Europe until 2009.

Tracey opened the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate with Jools Holland in April 2011. She has been a major supporter of the project from its inception and it has been suggested she will exhibit there in the future. In May 2011, Emin’s largest major solo exhibition in a public space was held at Hayward Gallery, London titled Love Is What You Want.

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