To coincide with her retrospective exhibition 'Love is What You Want' at the Hayward Gallery, Tracey Emin has created two new limited edition prints. The lithographic prints are close in style to both her early watercolours and to her more recent large-scale paintings.
'Laying with the Olive Trees' (2011) uses the repeated motif of the olive tree to bring a sense of life to the female figure lying in a state of deathly repose. Perhaps her thoughts are drifting to the rolling hills of olive groves in her much-visited Turkish-Cypriot homeland, or maybe Provence where the artist often spends her summers.
Emin describes the landscape as "a dream-like place - a cross between a desert and an ocean." In this landscape the prone, solitary female has an ambiguous presence: is she lying at the bottom of the sea, or simply lying asleep?
Always at the centre of her own world, Tracey Emin uses all aspects of her life in her art, turning intimate autobiography into broader statements about sex, love, death, freedom and everyday life. Her work has taken the form of diaristic drawings, paintings, films, sculptures and written stories, all of which convey the same combination of frustration, pain, compassion and wit. Drawing and printmaking have remained key mediums for Emin, and over the last ten years she has produced a steady output of monotype prints direct from her drawings.
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