New Tracey Emin sculpture and exhibition unveiled at outdoor art gallery in Edinburgh

Award-winning artist Tracey Emin has unveiled a major sculpture she has created for the grounds of an outdoor art gallery in Edinburgh to coincide with the launch of an exhibition of work she has created over the last two years.

Emin, one of Britain’s best-known visual artists since she burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, has created a six-metre long bronze figure for Jupiter Artland.

It is said to represent “a different narrative” on a woman’s place in nature, compared to traditional female nude sculptures.

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Emin's exhibition, her first in Scotland for 14 years, is described both as "an expression of love and hope” and “an unflinching look at pain, tenderness, longing and recovery”.

Artist Tracey Emin with her new six metre bronze sculpture 'I Lay Here For You', the latest permanent work at Jupiter Artland sculpture park in Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The show, which will run from May 29 until October 2, is also said to “address the power and fragility of the human form”.

Echoing her famous 1999 show at the Tate in London, Emin’s own bed appears as a “recurring motif” in the new exhibition.

Most of the work in the exhibition, staged across Jupiter Artland’s various indoor gallery spaces, was created over the past two years at Emin’s studio in Margate.

Jupiter Artland has attracted more than one million visitors since it opened in 2009. More than 30 artists have created work for the 100-acre site so far.

Artist Tracey Emin alongside a piece titled 'Wet' which features in her first Scottish show since 2008. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Emin said: “The exhibition really came about after Nicky and Robert saw my work at White Cube (gallery, in London).

"They’d liked my work for some time and were looking for a piece of my work for the sculpture gardens here and thought this particular one was perfect, so I came up and chose a space for it.

“Their philosophy is really lovely, generous and works on so many different levels.

"The whole place is amazing. It makes art really accessible, but in a cool and sophisticated way.”

Tracey Emin has created a six-metre long bronze sculpture, I Lay Here For You,, for Edinburgh's outdoor gallery, Jupiter Artland.

Originally due to work with Jupiter Artland in 2020, Emin’s collaboration was delayed by Covid and a cancer diagnosis a few months into lockdown.

"I pretty much spent in months in bed recovery from surgery. I couldn’t do any work at all. It was a really difficult time.

"But as it was during lockdown as I felt as if I didn’t really miss out of anything. My friends didn’t have to see me suffering or what I went through so in a lot of ways I was very lucky.”It was a slow process getting back to work. I kept thinking I was ready and would start painting, but would be wiped out by it all.

"But now, all I want to do is paint. I can’t wait to get back in my studio. I only do things that I want to do and when I want do them.”

Tracey Emin has created a six-metre long bronze sculpture, I Lay Here For You,, for Edinburgh's outdoor gallery, Jupiter Artland.

Emin’s last exhibition in Scotland was a retrospective show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

She said: “I had such a good time here with that show, it was brilliant. I loved being in Edinburgh, I loved working with people on the show, I loved the museum – the whole energy of it was really positive."

Emin, a supporter of David Cameron’s Westminter Government, was among more than 200 figure from the cultural and sporting world to urge Scots to vote against independence in 2014. Now she is a fierce critic of the Conservative Party and her views on Scottish independence have mellowed slightly.

She said: "Scotland feels like such a different country to me – from the achitecture and the landscape to the way that people are.

“I was really opposed to independence. Now, when I look at Britain i feel 'fucking hell, I would leave if I could.' But Scotland can't leave because it can't print its own money. How is it going to survive financially? It would have to be part of Europe. It would need to have a European currency."

Earlier this year Emin demanded that an artwork she gifted to the UK Government during Mr Cameron's tenure be taken down, over what she described as “shameful” reports of parties at Downing Street during lockdown.

Tracey Emin has created a six-metre long bronze sculpture, I Lay Here For You,, for Edinburgh's outdoor gallery, Jupiter Artland.

Emin said: 'I don't think this applies in Scotland because there is still free education, but if you come from a working class or poor background now you just stand no chance. When I was a student 40 years ago I got grants and scholarships. People like me would stand no chance.

"It's particularly hard in the arts because this Government doesn't recognise them or acknowledge that they exist. In 30 or 40 years time Britain isn't going to have any culture."You judge a country by its culture, but we are going to be way behind the times. It's going to be awful. If you have an arts minister that knows about art we'd have a better chance, but if you have an arts minister who can't wait to be health secretary then we've no chance.

"My priorities to champion are education and the arts. If I am judging the country against education and the arts it is abysmal."

Born in London in 1963 and brought up in the seaside town of Margate, Emin burst onto the British art scene in the late 1990s and has remained one of its most high-profile artists ever since.

Emin: “I think galleries and art are much more accessible now than they were 40 years ago. Regardless of what anyone thinks of my generation and what we did or didn't do, I think my generation encouraged a younger generation to enjoy the arts a lot more.

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