Press Release

Christmas Tree 2002 by Tracey Emin

Tate Britain has commissioned Tracey Emin to create its Christmas tree for 2002.

This year the artist has chosen to donate a Christmas tree to Lighthouse West London, a centre for people with and affected by HIV and AIDS, where it will be situated until early January. In a specially designed installation at Tate Britain, Emin will present a canvas with text inviting visitors to make a donation to the charity in return for the opportunity to win an original artwork by the artist. Visitors will place their contribution with their contact details in an envelope and Emin will draw a winner from all the contributors in early 2003.

Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963. She studied at Maidstone College of Art from 1983-86 before completing an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 1989. She is well known for her deeply confessional, often confrontational, works that encompass a broad range of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, video and appliqué. Drawing on personal experiences frequently harrowing in nature, Emin’s art is disarming in its candour, touching on such fundamental issues as mortality, loss and sexuality. Her works Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-95 1995 and My Bed 1998 have achieved iconic status in contemporary British art. Emin has incorporated unusual marketing strategies into a number of her early works; in 1992 she invited 80 people to invest £10 in her future as an artist in return for three letters from her. Ten years later, having won international acclaim, Emin invites visitors to invest in a charity she has supported for many years.

Emin has been exhibiting extensively since 1992 and currently has solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Modern Art Oxford. Her work is included in the exhibition of works from the Tate Collection at Tate Britain, Self Evident: the artist as subject (until 5 January 2003) and in Real Life at Tate St Ives (until 26 January 2003).

This is the fifteenth year that Tate has commissioned an artist to design a tree. Previously commissioned artists are Yinka Shonibare (2001), Catherine Yass (2000), Mat Collishaw (1999), Richard Wilson (1998), Michael Landy (1997), Julian Opie (1996), Cornelia Parker (1995), Cathy de Monchaux (1994), Shirazeh Houshiary (1993), Craigie Aitchison (1992), Boyd Webb (1991), Lisa Milroy (1990), Tim Head (1989) and Bill Woodrow (1988).

The tree has been generously donated by Clifton Nurseries.