Wearing a tipped fur-rimmed hat and sharp cut suit, British artist Tracey Emin looked more composed than ever as she received her CBE for services to the arts at Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon.
Receiving recognition alongside Tracey, the artist was joined by Katherine Grainger, Ben Ainslie, and David Weir for their Olympic sporting achievements. Former Olympic gold medallist , Lord Sebastian Coe, was also made a Member of the Companions of Honour after his resounding success as chairman of the London 2012 games.
Collecting their prestigious awards from Princess Anne on behalf of the Queen, who is currently recovering from a recent bout of gastroenteritis, Tracey said before the ceremony that she was mostly looking forward to seeing the look on her mother”s face.
The artist, 49, also added in a statement to the BBC: “For me this honour is a symbol of how art can change people”s perception of life and view the world in a different way”.
“Art is a great enabler,” Tracey said of her work, “It has helped me to achieve many things throughout my life and through my daily life to help many other people.”
Born in the quaint Kentish seaside town of Margate, Tracey was always a wild child at heart and grew up to become one of the most controversial artists of her generation.
Achieving recognition in the early nineties as part of the Young British Artists collective that included Sarah Lucas and Damian Hirst (Britiain”s most expensive artist to date), Tracey”s thought-provoking creations won her the Turner Prize in 1999.
The piece that set her at the height of her Turner Prize fame, My Bed is, perhaps, still one of the most referenced of her works — a physical biography of the daily life in the artist”s bedroom.
Her followers, admirers and fans of her works will know that the key behind Tracey”s evocative artworks is this sense of self-reflection and openess.
Speaking of the CBE that was received Tracey announced:
“I am pleased and happy to have recognition for this. But always in life recognition is not why we do things. We do things because of vocation, because we have to do them.”