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  • She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Stephen White
  • She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Stephen White
  • She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Stephen White
  • She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Stephen White
  • Tracey Emin, Last in Love, 2011 Gouache on paper © the artist courtesy of White Cube photo: Ben Westoby
  • Tracey Emin, I Didn't Say, 2011 Gouache on paper © the artist courtesy of White Cube photo: Ben Westoby
  • Tracey Emin, Sex 1 25-11-07 Sydney ©Tracey Emin / Tracey Emin studio 
  • Tracey Emin at the opening of She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea Photo Manu Palomeque
Sat 26 May - Sun 23 Sep 2012

'Margate’s sympathetic installation across three galleries gives maximum force.'
Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times

'...this particular show is the most beautiful I have seen by her.'
 Waldermar Januszczak, The Sunday Times 

Tracey Emin's first major solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary is conceived specially for Margate, where Emin grew up and which has provided inspiration for many of her most famous art works.

The exhibition explores the themes of love, sensuality and romanticism in Emin's oeuvre, featuring both new and existing works including drawings, monoprints, sculptures and neons.

The exhibition's central themes continue in a display of paintings, sketches and watercolours of erotic subjects by Tracey Emin as well as JMW Turner and Auguste Rodin, whose iconic sculpture The Kiss is on show at Turner Contemporary until 2 September 2012. Read more about these works on paper here or by clicking on the PDF download at the bottom of this page.

Admission to the exhibition is free.

This exhibition contains work of an adult nature. Please use your discretion when visiting with children.

There is a no photography policy throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Follow our Curator’s blog at
Tweet us @TCMargate #TraceyEmin

She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea is part of the London 2012 Festival, a UK wide festival from 21 June – 9 September 2012 featuring leading artists from around the world which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, funded by Arts Council England. Download the Cultural Olympiad brochure for the South East here

'Tracey Emin’s first major exhibition in her home town of Margate at the wonderful new Turner Contemporary gallery is precisely the kind of once-in-a-lifetime event that is the special characteristic of the London 2012 Festival.  We are delighted that the exhibition is free so that everybody will have the chance to join in something  they may never experience again. We want this to be a summer of unforgettable art as well as sport.'
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival 


A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is available to purchase from our shop at the special price of £10.

Read an extract from the catalogue by clicking on the PDF link at the bottom of this page.

The publication includes a foreword by Director Victoria Pomery, essays by art historian and critic William Feaver and writer Jeanette Winterson and extracts from The Vanishing Lake, Tracey's novel in progress.


Interactive exhibition media guide

An interactive media guide accompanies the exhibition and is available from our Information Desk price £2.

Created especially for this exhibition, our personalised interactive media guide helps you to explore the Tracey's exhibition further. The guide featuring a voiceover by Tracey, exclusive film extracts and critic William Feaver discussing the erotic drawings of JMW Turner and Rodin.


Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 11 – 11.30am from 26 May 2012.
Wednesdays 3 – 3.30pm every fortnight from 6 June 2012

What the papers say

 Waldermar Januszczak, Home is where the art is, The Sunday Times
'...this particular show is the most beautiful I have seen by her'

'Gone is the anger. Gone is the man-bashing. In their place, an air of wistful nostalgia seems to have seeped into her art. Where previously it was Margate’s darknesses and cruelty she remembered, here she seems to be reliving the nice bits. The sensuous experience of making love. The good side of having a boyfriend. '

'Some of this softening should probably be understood as a reaction to the sheer beauty of these exquisite exhibition spaces. Designed by the immaculately progressive David Chipperfield, Turner Contemporary is prob­ably the most elegant gallery interior in Britain right now.'

'When you look out of the ­windows, all you can see is the sea, rolling and encompassing. 
It’s a beautiful effect, and the proximity of the lapping water seems to have inspired a set 
of gentle reflections in Emin, on love and blokes and paddling.'

'That scratchy touch of Emin’s, light as a sparrow, fragile as a chicken bone, dominates all these effects, and I fancy this will be recognised as the event at which Dame Tracey Emin, staunch defender of the artist’s touch, stepped fully out of the closet.'

'I have never seen Turner’s erotic drawings before. They are surprisingly steamy, and easily the most shocking exhibits here.'

Jackie Wullschlager, 
Traces of Tracey Financial Times  
'Margate’s sympathetic installation across three galleries gives maximum force.'
'The bright, sea-facing room contains blue gouaches... are the most beautiful things Emin has done – spare, light, unpretentious.'

'The flowing, looping outlines of fragile figures on white grounds suggest now turbulence or alarm, now ecstasy but always – as implied by the show’s title and helped by the view of the sea – a sense of the body overwhelmed by tidal waves of feeling.'

'...her tenacity and spirit of survival impress.'

'...the juxtaposition [with Turner and Rodin] is also a triumph for the democratisation of art, the breakdown of class and regional/metropolitan barriers, which Emin by her life-as-performance has helped effect in the past two decades.'

'The great thing about Margate’s show is that it is taking place here at all.'

'...the show is one of the must see events for the summer.'

'These works show Emin’s fascination with classical art and historical references from cave paintings to Picasso, Matisse, Turner and Rodin fill the works in the whole show and give more credence to her place in art history. Despite any shortcomings the show is one of the must see events for the summer.'

Charles Darwent, The Independent *****
'What is moving about Emin's show, She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, is its sense of resolution, the way that parts of her art that 
have until now seemed disjointed and sporadic suddenly come together.'

'Emin certainly can draw: the series that includes the blue-on-blue Reading My Thoughts has the assurance of Matisse.'

Ben Luke, The Evening Standard ***
'While torment clearly lies beneath, Margate's most famous daughter seems to have 
let go of the usual tales of trauma, opening this show with a serenity befitting its glorious location.'

'Turner Contemporary’s wonderful galleries bathe art in glorious daylight, and in response Emin has created a rhapsody in blue on white, with a series of gouache drawings and embroideries on calico.'

'When Emin is more measured, in scaling up her drawings into elegant appliqué, she produces her best work. The meditative act of sewing gives a greater sense of design, without diminishing the emotion.' 

Margate's Girl Made Good, The Spectator
'Emin demonstrates that she really has fallen in love with art again.’ 

Tracey Emin's Hope for Margate resurrection, The Guardian

'I'm nervous as hell' Tracey Emin interview with ArtInfo 

Tracey on the BBC Andrew Marr Show, 27 May 2012 (go to 23.27 mins)

Kirsty Lang talks to Tracey Emin, BBC Radio 4 Front Row, 25 May 2012 (go to 1.30min)   


ITV News 

The Mirror

Kent Online 
The Guardian interview  

The Arts Desk ****

The Spectator

Tracey Emin in conversation with Stephen Fry - watch online

One of the most memorable interviews of 2012 available to view on
Tracey Emin in conversation with Stephen Fry
Recorded live at Turner Contemporary 22 June 
Watch online now at

Please note: thisbroadcast includes content of an adult nature

Join the conversation
Add your comments to the twitter discusion #EminFry.

Technical issues with the live broadcast
For those of you who did watch live, we experienced technical problems at the beginning of the live feed but this content will be available in the on demand version from Monday 25th June.

The Space
The Space is a new way to experience the arts – live, free and on-demand. Take part in the biggest summer of arts the UK has ever seen. Available on computer, tablet, smartphone and connected TV, in The Space you can experience work direct from some of the UK’s most exciting artists and arts organisations. Watch full performances, catch unmissable live events, delve into rare archive and discover interactive collections. The Space is an exciting project by Arts Council England, in partnership with the BBC. 


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Left by Cheryl Ives on Fri 21 Sep 2012

I've always thought Tracey Emin's work to be over-rated and could take it or leave it. I came to see her exhibition at Turner Contemporary last Friday and was completely blown away. I absolutely loved it and am so glad that I didn't miss it.
Thanks TC for great experience. I'm looking forward to the Katz exhibition.

Left by Jane Foley on Tue 10 Apr 2012

This is wonderful. I'm a great fan, although I only own one drawing, of which I am very fond. It is so good to find a woman being free with the theme of eroticism. I wish that I could get to it from Devon.

Left by Sue on Thu 19 Apr 2012

Can't wait for this one. :)

Left by Peter Hendra on Fri 23 Dec 2011

I was brought up in Margate in the generation before Tracey Emin. I used to say "I don't like what Tracey does, but I love the way she does it" (ha-ha how witty!). After the Hayward Gallery exhibition, I'm completely converted, and shall be driving down to see you all again in May.

Left by Darren Lewis on Wed 9 May 2012

Cannot wait for Tracey to return home and have her work displayed in margate. I'm sure this show will finally put Margate on the map and we should thankful to Tracey that margate is still deep within her heart.

Left by Sue on Wed 9 May 2012

Can't wait for this one. Thanks Tracey.

Left by Penny Miller on Tue 15 May 2012

I'm looking forward to this event - Miss Emin is a great artist and ambassador for Margate. Love The Neons!

Left by Nicola on Thu 21 Jun 2012

I visited the exhibition today and absolutely loved it. The dominant shade of blue and the different media used, especially the tapestry and embroidery, made good works exceptional. Very moving and so beautiful.....

Left by Ruth Geldard [ ] on Thu 19 Jul 2012

Impulsive, instinctive, fragile and genuine-very moved by this recent work.