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Signed Print Edition of 120
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This touching etching was created by Tracey Emin in 2012 and forms part of the Animals collection. At the centre of a white paper background there is a simply rendered pair of white doves, with a cloudy transfer of ink about them. To the right of this central pair, the head of another dove looms above, watching in on the lovebirds.
Emin, the 'enfant terrible' of the Young British Artists group, has been celebrated for her controversial practice, mingling her wry humour with often sexually energetic subject matter. However, as Emin herself and her career have matured, the artist has become increasingly spiritual and interested more so in romantic intimacy over lust.
Feeling Safe eloquently signals the artist’s emotional maturity and understanding of self. The two lovebirds at the centre of the composition are being watched over by a ghostly dove behind them, perhaps part of the reason the work is titled Feeling Safe. Like many of her works with animals as their subject, Emin uses the birds to reveal something of the human condition. As she reveals in this charming print, the longing for intimacy and partnership is something common across the animal kingdom.