One of the first paintings by Margate-based artist Tracey Emin created following her cancer treatment will be auctioned to raise funds for her new artist studio complex in former Victorian baths and former morgue in Dane Road/Victoria Road.
Like a Cloud of Blood is expected to fetch between £500,000 and £700,000 when it is auctioned by Christies next month.
The painting represents a return to the creative process for Emin, and an intimate vision of her recent experience which she is offering to establish a future for artists in her home town
The TKE Studios will also launch in October. The studios are titled with an abbreviation of the artist’s full name, Tracey Karima Emin.
The aim is for the studio complex and residency programme to foster new generations of talent, and to create a thriving artistic hub in Margate.
The painting will be on view in London from 6 to 13 October, ahead of the 20th / 21st Century: Evening Sale, which takes place on 13 October.
Emin, who last month was awarded as a Freewoman of the town, has become a passionate advocate for Margate since returning in 2017 after buying part of the former Thanet Press site in Margate and converting it into an artist’s studio and flat.
With 12 subsidised professional artist studios, a rigorous exhibition cycle and two-year residencies for 15-20 students with free studios, tutorials and lectures, Emin hopes to create an inspirational ‘artists’ haven’ at the TKE Studios.
She said: “I don’t want to die being an artist that made really interesting work. I want to make a future. If my art can make something happen for the future, then I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been all the way around the world in all directions and come back again. And this, Margate, is what I’ve chosen.”
Katharine Arnold, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “Throughout her career, Tracey Emin has invited viewers to share in the most intimate aspects of her life. With extraordinary candour and a vivid vision, in Like a Cloud of Blood she lets us in to her world following her cancer diagnosis.
“The searing honesty we are accustomed to in her oeuvre resonates with her audience even more so in this painting. It is a renewed vigour for life that has driven Tracey to create this unparalleled opportunity for artists in her home town and it is a great honour to help her realise this project by offering the painting as a highlight in the 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale.”
Painted in her first wave of creativity after her recovery from bladder cancer in 2020, Like a Cloud of Blood captures the powerful release of emotion and energy she experienced after a long period of being unable to make art.