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Tracey Emin on alcohol and the future

Tracey Emin on alcohol and the future

Tracey Emin, a successful artist of Turkish Cypriot origin, shared with Geordie Greig from The Independent her decision to quit alcohol after the fear of death and battling cancer, her decision to fund new art, and her choice to make immense paintings.

In the article it it said while talking about her choice “Giving up drink has been totally transformative,” she says. “I love it. I wish I’d done it before. But when I did it in 2008, I felt suicidal. It was horrific and I hated it. I wasn’t surrounded by the right people. Your life’s got to feel like it’s worth living, and you have to build a solid base around you.”

‘Becoming teetotal was gradual. “Having bladder cancer is really good, a useful thing to stop drinking,” she notes with gallows humour. But what irks her is how she wasted time. “People go, ‘Oh my God, you’ve done so much work in the past four years,’ and I go, ‘Yeah, it’s because I don’t drink any more.’ So what would I have done in the past 40 years or so if I had been sober?”

‘While stroking her cat Teacup in her studio in Margate, Tracey Emin mentions how facing the threat of death from cancer gave her a definitive view of the afterlife.

“You become part of the sun, you become light. This is the end, the final frontier, the final stop: to be pure light. But you will be judged,” she adds cheerfully. “If you really messed everything up and were greedy, everything comes to you. And if you really love animals, they come with you – every pet you’ve ever had. If you love clothes, you take your whole wardrobe. I want to go as light as possible.”

Greig added “At the age of 60, Emin is on a roll, with three big global shows – in New York (earlier this year), Brussels (opening 24 May) and London (in September). A huge cascade of new works. It is also strongly rumoured that she may become a dame in the King’s birthday honours list next month. Already a Royal Academician, Emin was appointed professor of drawing at the Royal Academy Schools from 2011-13; she also recently became the first female artist to be elected as a trustee of the British Museum…

“As well as her working studio, there’s a smaller one for small pictures and a spare one for experimental curation of her works. There’s also a gallery for her chosen artists to show their work. Welcome to Eminland, where these Eminites are given a chance to make careers in their chosen field.”


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