Above image: © Tracey Emin
During the last few months of lockdown, Tracey Emin has been busy creating a new series of acrylic works while simultaneously packing up her London home of the last 20 years. The resulting small-scale paintings are filled with emotion surrounding the move and make up a new online exhibition at White Cube entitled I Thrive on Solitude, opening today until the beginning of August.
The quarantine period has acted as a long goodbye for Emin and the house she is preparing to depart. Unlike so many people who have struggled with the psychological strains of social disconnect, Emin has embraced it, celebrating her spiritual connection to place and ritualising the life-cycle of a home. Coloured by melancholy and nostalgia, her concise new paintings recall fond memories and hazy recollections, with each acting as a “thumbprint of my time being here”.
From My Mums Ashes – In The Ashes Room to paintings of her bathroom titled 5 Hours and memories of old lovers in The Kiss, each painting is characterised by a calmness and serenity that speaks of healthy change. There is an optimism there too, a renewed sense of purpose that comes with saying goodbye and looking ahead – no doubt we could all use a bit of that.
I Thrive on Solitude is on view here until 2 August 2020.