The Guardian yesterday reported that Tracey Emin has spent 4 million pounds (8 million dollars, approx) on buying a large part of a historic quarter of east London, in an attempt to halt the tide of recent commercial and corporate development in the area. That artist, with collaborator Sarah Lucas, briefly ran an artist retail experiment there in 1993. Simply called The Shop, they sold t-shirts and artist multiples. The area is considered the birthplace of Britart, but many artists were driven east with increasing rents.
Emin plans to create two large studios. 'It would be far cheaper for me to buy somewhere else,' she says. 'It wasn't a deal in that sense. In fact, it is a stupid project in a way. But I like the idea of keeping that use for the building.
Gilbert and George and Turner Prize winner Artists Rachel Whiteread and Gilbert & George also live in the area. Emin says she is committed to making the area her home for the rest of her life. "I have a great respect for the area," she says "I could live anywhere in London. But I love the urbanness of Spitalfields. It is going to be great to have a studio that I can decorate to my own taste - a bit like my own home. I have no intention of ever selling. I want to be working here when I am an old lady."