Tracey Emin Made A Dame In King’s Birthday Honours List

tracey Emin © Artlyst

Tracey Emin, YBA Artist, born on July 3, 1963, in Croydon, London, has been given a Damehood in the King’s Birthday Honour list 2024. Other art-related honours include the sculptor, jewellery designer and performance artist Andrew Logan, who was awarded an MBE for his practice.

Emin is a British artist renowned for her deeply personal and often controversial works. Growing up in the seaside town of Margate, Emin’s early life was marked by trauma and hardship, experiences that would profoundly influence her art.

Emin studied fashion at the Medway College of Design and Maidstone College of Art (1983–86), then went on to do a BA in Printmaking before moving on to the Royal College of Art, where she earned her MA in painting in 1989. During this period, she developed her unique style, characterised by its raw honesty and emotional intensity. She initially struggled to find her place in art, working various jobs and dealing with personal challenges.

Her breakthrough came in the early 1990s when she became associated with the Young British Artists (YBAs), including Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. This group was known for their shock tactics, use of unconventional materials, and entrepreneurial spirit. Emin quickly gained notoriety for her confessional art, often drawing on her life experiences.

One of her most famous works, “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995” (1995), was a tent appliquéd with the names of everyone she had ever shared a bed with. This piece and “My Bed” (1998), a messy bed surrounded by personal items, cemented her reputation as a provocative and influential artist. “My Bed” was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1999 and remains one of her most iconic works.

Emin’s art spans various mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, photography, neon text, and sewn appliqué. Her work is characterized by its autobiographical content, often exploring themes of love, loss, sexuality, and identity. She uses her own life as a lens to explore universal human experiences, creating a deeply personal and widely relatable body of work.

In addition to her visual art, Emin has published several books and has been an outspoken advocate for the arts. She was elected a Royal Academician in 2007 and was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy in 2011, the first female professor since the Academy’s founding in 1768. In 2013, she was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her contributions to the arts.

Emin continues to exhibit internationally, and her work is held in significant collections worldwide. Despite her success, she remains a polarising figure, with her candid approach to art-making sparking both admiration and controversy. Emin’s ability to bare her soul through her art has ensured her place as one of her generation’s most compelling and significant artists.

Throughout her career, Tracey Emin has remained dedicated to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, making her a vital and influential figure in contemporary art. With its unflinching honesty and emotional depth, her work resonates with audiences worldwide, securing her legacy as a leader in the art world.

Andrew Logan
Andrew Logan MBE P C Robinson © Artlyst 2024

Andrew Logan, born on October 11, 1945, in Witney, Oxfordshire, is a British artist renowned for his unique and vibrant contributions to contemporary art. Logan’s work spans various media, including sculpture, painting, and jewellery, and it is often characterised by its exuberant use of colour, mirrored surfaces, and an overarching sense of joy and celebration.

Logan grew up in a creative environment; his father was an architect, and his mother was an avid antiques collector. This artistic upbringing greatly influenced his imaginative approach to art. He studied architecture at the Oxford School of Architecture, where he honed his skills in design and structural form. However, Logan’s true passion lay in the visual arts, and he soon transitioned to a career as an artist.

In the early 1970s, Logan established himself in London, becoming a central figure in the burgeoning alternative art scene. His work quickly gained attention for its distinctive style, blending elements of pop art, folk art, and surrealism. Logan’s sculptures, often made from found objects and adorned with mirrored glass and jewels, challenged conventional notions of art and beauty. His pieces were not just static objects but vibrant, interactive works that invited viewers to engage with them.

One of Logan’s most significant contributions to the art world is the Alternative Miss World pageant, which he founded in 1972. Inspired by the Miss World beauty contest, Logan’s event is a flamboyant and inclusive celebration of creativity, diversity, and individuality. Held sporadically over the years, the pageant has featured many participants, including artists, performers, and everyday people, showcasing their unique interpretations of beauty and style. The Alternative Miss World has become a cultural phenomenon, embodying Logan’s joy, acceptance, and artistic freedom ethos.

Logan’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums worldwide throughout his career. His sculptures and installations have been showcased in prestigious venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Logan’s art is celebrated for its whimsical, playful nature and ability to bring light and colour into the lives of those who experience it.

Logan’s influence extends beyond the art world into fashion, performance, and popular culture. He has collaborated with various artists, designers, and musicians, creating costumes, stage sets, and jewellery that reflect his distinctive aesthetic. Collectors and art enthusiasts highly seek after his pieces, and his impact on contemporary art is undeniable.

Despite his success, Logan remains deeply connected to his roots and continues to live and work in London. His home and studio are filled with his creations, reflecting his boundless creativity and passion for art. Logan’s work is a testament to the power of imagination and the importance of celebrating individuality. Andrew Logan has left an indelible mark on the art world through his vibrant sculptures, joyful performances, and inclusive events, inspiring generations of artists and audiences.

The King’s Birthday Honours List is a distinguished tradition in which the reigning monarch recognises and rewards individuals’ exceptional achievements and service across various sectors. Announced annually on the sovereign’s official birthday, this practice has its roots in the 19th century and has evolved to reflect societal changes.

Awarding honours dates back to the medieval period, when monarchs bestowed knighthoods and other titles to reward loyalty and military service. However, as it is known today, the formalised Birthday Honours List began to take shape during Queen Victoria’s reign. In 1880, Queen Victoria’s Birthday Honours were the first to be published, marking an official record of the awards given. This practice established a precedent that successive monarchs have followed.

One unique aspect of the Birthday Honours List is its association with the sovereign’s “official” birthday, which may not coincide with their birth date. This tradition began with King George II in 1748, who combined his birthday celebration with the annual Trooping the Colour parade in June, a time of more favourable weather for outdoor events. Subsequent monarchs adopted this tradition, and it continues to this day. For Queen Elizabeth II, who was born on April 21, her official birthday was celebrated on the second Saturday of June. This allowed for the honours list to be announced with the Trooping the Colour ceremony, a grand display of military pageantry in London.

The Birthday Honours List includes many awards, from knighthoods and damehoods to various orders of chivalry and medals. The most well-known are the Order of the British Empire, the Order of the Bath, the Order of St Michael and St George, and the Order of the Companions of Honour. The Order of the British Empire, established by King George V in 1917, recognizes contributions to the arts and sciences, public services, and charitable work. The Order of the Bath, dating back to medieval times and reconstituted in 1725 by George I, honours senior military officials and civil servants. The Order of St Michael and St George, founded in 1818, recognizes extraordinary service in foreign affairs or relation to Commonwealth countries. The Order of the Companions of Honour, established in 1917, is a special recognition for those who have significantly contributed to the arts, science, medicine, or government over a long period.

Over the years, the criteria for the Birthday Honours have evolved to reflect societal changes. While military and civil service awards dominated early lists, modern lists included various recipients from various fields, including sports, entertainment, business, and community service. The selection process involves nominations from the public, which committees review before being submitted to the monarch for final approval. This democratic aspect ensures that the honours reflect the contributions of a broad cross-section of society.

Recently, the honours lists have been particularly noteworthy for recognizing efforts in response to global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers, scientists, and community volunteers have been prominently featured, highlighting the honours’ role in acknowledging contemporary heroes. With the accession of King Charles III, the tradition continues. The King’s Birthday Honours List will maintain the established practices while potentially reflecting the new monarch’s priorities and values.

The Queen’s/King’s Birthday Honours List is a venerable tradition that celebrates excellence and service across British society. From its origins in medieval knighthoods to its modern incarnation, the list has become a significant marker of national gratitude and recognition. As it continues under King Charles III, it will undoubtedly adapt to honour the contributions of those who shape the future of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Top Photo Tracey Emin © P C Robinson Artlyst

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