Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.
Emin’s work has an immediacy and often sexually provocative attitude that firmly locates her oeuvre within the tradition of feminist discourse. By re-appropriating conventional handicraft techniques – or ‘women’s work’ – for radical intentions, Emin’s work resonates with the feminist tenets of the ‘personal as political’. In Everyone I’ve Ever Slept With, Emin used the process of appliqué to inscribe the names of lovers, friends and family within a small tent, into which the viewer had to crawl inside, becoming both voyeur and confidante. Her interest in the work of Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele particularly inform Emin’s paintings, monoprints and drawings, which explore complex personal states and ideas of self-representation through manifestly expressionist styles and themes.
Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally including solo and group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist to ever do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy's Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.
In 2008 Emin had her first major retrospective 20 Years at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, which toured to CAC, Malaga (2008) and Kunstmuseum Bern (2009). Her extensive exhibition history includes solo and group exhibitions at Blumenbar Verlag, Berlin (2008); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2010); Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2010); a major survey exhibition Love Is What You Want at the Hayward Gallery, London (2011); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012); Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012), a two gallery solo show at Lehmann Maupin, New York (2013). Current exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami which opened in December 2013.
Emin's work can be found in numerous public and private collections around the world, including the Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Camden Arts Centre, London; Hara Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum van Loon, Amsterdam; National Portrait Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Saatchi Collection, London; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; and Tate Britain, London. The artist lives and works in London, England.
Born in Hampshire 1964, Charming Baker spent most of his early life travelling around the world following his father, a Commando in the British Army. At the age of 12, he and his family finally settled in Ripon, North Yorkshire. Baker left school at 16 and worked various manual jobs.
In 1985, having gone back to college, Baker was accepted onto a course at the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s, where he later returned as a lecturer. After graduating, Baker worked for many years as a commercial artist, also developing his personal work.
Solo shows at the Truman Brewery in 2007 and the Redchurch Street Gallery in 2009 were followed by a show in New York in 2010. In 2011, Baker’s London show at the Mercer Street Studios cemented his place as one of the rising stars in the world of Contemporary Art. In 2012, a sculpture entitled ‘Triumph in the face of absurdity’ was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, (the piece, a collaboration for the 2012 Olympics between the artist and Sir Paul Smith). His 2013 LA exhibition entitled ‘Lie Down I Think I Love You’ cemented his relationship with the infamous PMM Art Projects, and caused a mass of media interest across America.
Baker’s work explores well-trodden and intrinsically linked themes; life, love, death, terror, joy, despair… with an underlying reference to the classics and a dark humour. Although primarily a painter with an interest in narrative and an understanding of the tradition of painting, in recent years Baker has produced sculptural pieces in a wide and varied choice of materials, (from the anciently traditional to the not so). Baker is also known to purposefully damage his delicate painting, including drilling, cutting and occasionally shooting them with a shotgun, intentionally and inadvertently putting to question the preciousness of art, and adding to the emotive charge of the work he produces.
Charming Baker lives and works in London.
Yinka Shonibare MBE RA was born in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art first at Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA, graduating as part of the ‘Young British Artists’ generation. He currently lives and works in the East End of London.
Over the past decade, Shonibare has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work explores these issues, alongside those of race and class, through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and, more recently, film and performance. Using this wide range of media, Shonibare examines in particular the construction of identity and tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Mixing Western art history and literature, he asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today. Having described himself as a ‘post-colonial’ hybrid, Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions.
Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”. He has added this title to his professional name. In 2013 he was elected Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts. He was notably commissioned by Okwui Enwezor At Documenta 10 in 2002 to create his most recognised work ‘Gallantry and Criminal Conversation’ that launched him on an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and internationally at leading museums worldwide. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York in June 2009 and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC in October 2009 . In 2010, 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' became his first public art commission on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Zavier Ellis was born in Windsor in 1973. He read History of Modern Art at Manchester University before undertaking a Masters in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School. He has lived in London since 1998.
Zavier is the founder and director of CHARLIE SMITH london, a vibrant contemporary art gallery in the heart of Shoreditch that specialises in showing and representing emerging to mid-career artists. He is also co-founder and co-curator of the independent and annual museum scale show THE FUTURE CAN WAIT, which is currently organised in partnership with Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s New Sensations. THE FUTURE CAN WAIT is the largest exhibition of its kind globally.
Zavier has curated exhibitions internationally including in Berlin, Helsinki, Klaipėda, London, Los Angeles, Naples and Rome; and has placed work in many notable private collections globally including the Saatchi Gallery, Peter Nobel, Jean Pigozzi, David Roberts and Thomas Rusche. Known as an acute talent spotter Zavier has identified and exhibited a number of important young artists directly from Art College including Steven Allan, David Blandy, Oliver Clegg, Tessa Farmer, Sam Jackson, Monica Ursina Jäger, Annie Kevans, Alexis Milne, Nika Neelova and Douglas White.
Zavier also collects and maintains a studio practice, and as such has exhibited in recent years at Paul Stolper Gallery in London and Museum der Moderne in Salzburg. His work is featured in many private collections including the Peter Nobel Collection.
Most recently Zavier has published his first iArtBook 100 London Artists with legendary art critic and historian Edward Lucie-Smith.
Godfrey Worsdale began his curatorial career in the early 1990s at the British Museum and established Cultural Instructions; an independent contemporary art space in London in 1994. He moved to Southampton City Art Gallery as Curator in 1995, and was appointed Director in 1998. In 2002 he became Founding Director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. In 2008 was appointed Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and three years later launched BALTIC 39; a significant second site for the institution.
He joined the judging panels of the Zoo Art Fair in 2007 and the Paul Hamlyn Awards in 2008. He was a selector for the British Pavilion for the 54th Venice Biennale, a judge for the 2011 Turner Prize and for the 2012 Salon Prize. He is the Chairman of the UK’s Visual Art and Galleries Association, Chairman of England’s Contemporary Visual Art Network, a Patron of the Crisis Commission, a Trustee of the Northern Canon Art Collection, an honorary member of the Contemporary Art Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws by Northumbria University in 2012.
Omar Kholeif (Egypt/UK) is a writer and curator whose work focuses on issues of narrative, expanded geography and political satire in an increasingly globalized context. He is Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester, and Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Previously, he headed up art and media at SPACE, London and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool. In 2012, he was a co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial.His most recent books are respectively, You Are Here: Art After the Internet and Virgin With a Memory (for Sophia Al-Maria), and Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 all published in 2014.
Polly Morgan was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1980.
In 1998 she moved to East London to read English Literature at London University. As an undergraduate she became acquainted with many prominent artists working in the area and, encouraged by their example, she took up taxidermy and began making sculptural work in 2004.
Having studied with Scottish taxidermist George Jamieson, Morgan began to play with and dismantle taxidermy traditions, creating sculptures that brought her work to the attention of many notable collectors and curators both in Britain and abroad.
Recent solo exhibitions include The Box (Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 2014), Fate’s Refrain (Robilant + Voena, Milan, 2014) and Curiouser and Curiouser (Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, UK, 2013). Her work is featured in the private Collections of Thomas Olbricht, Omer Koc, Anita Zabludowicz, Ivor Braka, David Roberts, Didier Casimiro.
Polly Morgan continues to live and work in London.
Anita Zabludowicz was born in Newcastle and now lives in London with her Finnish husband, Poju, and their four children. From the mid-1990s Anita and her husband have embarked on a number of philanthropic activities and together they founded the Zabludowicz Collection to collect international emerging art and create a public platform to examine contemporary art practices.
Anita is a trustee of Camden Arts Centre, a trustee of Opening Times, Honorary President at BFAMI and also a Tate Foundation Honorary Member. In 2011 Anita was appointed by the LLDC and the Mayor of London as co-chair of the Legacy List, a charity which fosters and encourages creative connections between people and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to support the Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. In 2009 the Zabludowicz Collection Future Map Prize was launched for a graduating student from the University of the Arts London to support their ongoing artistic development.
Zabludowicz Collection is a philanthropic organisation dedicated to bringing emerging art to new audiences and actively supporting arts organisations and artists. It was founded in 1994 and in 2015 will celebrate 20 years of collecting. The Collection holds over 3000 works by over 600 artists, spanning 40 years of art production. Its focus is on emerging art from the late 20th century to the present day. Zabludowicz Collection’s programme is focused on working with emerging artists and curators to produce events and exhibitions of works from the collection which respond to the unusual space at 176 Prince of Wales Road. The Collection also exhibits in permanent venues in the USA and Finland.
Sophie O’Brien is Senior Exhibitions Curator at the Serpentine Gallery. Previous to this she was a Curator for Contemporary and British Art at Tate Britain, Curator & Exhibitions Manager for the Australian Pavilions at the Venice Biennale, Head of Exhibitions at the Biennale of Sydney, Curator at Artspace Sydney, and for several years curated an Australian annual festival of international contemporary art.
Stephanie Buck is Martin Halusa Curator of Drawings at The Courtauld Gallery. She is based in Berlin and London. Prior to joining the curatorial team at The Courtauld in 2006 she taught art history at the Freie University Berlin and worked in various museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Staatliche Museen, Berlin and the Städelmuseum, Frankfurt.
At The Courtauld Stephanie has curated and co-curated a number of drawings exhibitions including The Courtauld Cézannes (2008), Michelangelo’s Dream (2010), The Young Dürer. Drawing the Figure (2013) and Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album (February-May 2015). Since 2010 she has been coordinating the exhibition and research activities of the IMAF Centre for the Study and Conservation of Drawings at The Courtauld.
Vanessa Branson is a champion of global cultural and ecological initiatives. As President and Founder of the Marrakech Biennale she is responsible for North Africa’s only trilingual arts festival, comprising visual art, literature and film programs featuring acclaimed international and Moroccan artists.
Prior to this, she was co-founding curator with Prue O'Day of the Wonderful Fund Collection. She also established and co-directed the Portobello Arts Festival (1987-1989) and founded the Vanessa Devereux Gallery (1986- 1991) in London.
In 2002, along with her business partner Howell James CBE, she developed an ancient crumbling palace in the centre of Marrakech into a beautiful boutique hotel - El Fenn. She co-owns and runs Eilean Shona, a tidal island on the west coast of Scotland. She is a trustee of the British Moroccan Society and Virgin Unite, and on the board of trustees of Global Diversity Foundation.
Lisa Wright's paintings are simultaneously rooted in the past and the present, intimately and emotionally entwined with historical painting. Her uniquely unsettling and compelling work explores the delicate transition from childhood to adulthood.
Wright studied painting at the The Royal Academy Schools, London, 1990-1993 after which she moved to Cornwall, where she now lives and works. In addition to many well-received solo exhibitions Wright's work has been acquired by numerous corporate and private collections and was shown at Tate St Ives in the notable Art Now Cornwall exhibition. She was artist in residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company throughout the two year period of the' Histories' cycle, which culminated in exhibitions at the Roundhouse and at the Royal Academy, London.
Notable awards include the National Open Art Prize, the Hunting Art Prize and, most recently, the 2013 Threadneedle Prize.
Sam Phillips is Editor of RA Magazine, the quarterly publication of the Royal Academy of Arts. He is the author of a guide to the capital's art collections, The Art Guide: London (Thames & Hudson, 2011), and Isms: Understanding Modern Art (Bloomsbury, 2012), an introduction to avant-garde art movements.
Phillips has contributed articles to a wide-range of publications, including The Independent, World of Interiors and Time Out, and has managed publications for the Serpentine Gallery and Frieze Art Fair.