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Signed Print Edition of 200
H 41cm x W 52cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This mixed media work was created by Tracey Emin in 2009, and forms part of the Nude Drawings collection. The work consists of two printed panels of square fabric, which are stitched onto a floral fabric background. On the left panel, the word “HADES” is repeated three times in Emin’s distinctive handwriting. On the right panel, Emin depicts a nude female figure on her knees, her head disappearing into expressive mark-making. At the bottom of the work, Emin has signed the work with a ballpoint pen on a piece of ribbon, which has also been sewn onto the floral fabric.
Emin is an artist haunted by her past, and constantly refers to her troubled youth in her work. This has given her work a confessional quality, as it would seem the artist uses her work to confront and resolve traumas from the past. Within this work, Emin repeats the word “HADES” like a satanic mantra. Not only does this word denote the underworld of Greek mythology and Christian notions of hell, but Hades was also the name of a Margate nightclub Emin frequented during her troubled youth. Coupled with the crawling nude on the opposite panel and the curtain fabric background, this work presents an unsettling marriage between comfort and discomfort, sweet and sexual, innocence and experience.