Tracey Emin has had enough of Tory Parties

Words by
Andy Morris
Photography by

19th January 2022

The former YBA is frustrated by Boris Johnson's government - and demands back the neon artwork she previously gifted to be returned.

One of the foremost British artists of her generation, Tracey Emin doesn’t suffer fools. Fresh from the success of her latest exhibition at the Royal Academy and in Norway, she is now on a mission. Firstly to complete and prepare her own foundation in Hastings, which she compares in a recent interview with How To Spend It as akin to "Lenin’s mausoleum", albeit it complete with a sculpture park, artist residencies, lectures and life drawing. Secondly, it is to continue her recovery - after being diagnosed with aggressive  bladder cancer in Spring 2020, she is now thankfully in remission. And finally: thanks to the government’s latest bout of rule breaking, covert parties and corruption, she wants her artwork back from Number Ten. 

This is big news partly because Emin, unlike most of her contemporaries, has been previously vocal about her support of the Tories, particularly former culture minister Ed Vaizey. She gifted the “More passion” neon artwork that hangs in the Prime Minister's residence. In 2011 she declared Remember Tory people are massive collectors of the arts. For a lot of my friends, who think I'm crazy voting for the Tories - I want to know who buys their work? Who are the biggest philanthropists? I promise you, it's not Labour voters."

However after the seemingly limitless numbers of parties that have occurred Emin has had enough. Writing on Instagram she announced, “This is my neon that hangs at 10 Downing Street. It was a gift from myself to the Government Art collection I am now in the process of requesting that my art work be removed from 10 Downing Street.” Quite rightly she feels that Boris' extra curricular social whirl must not stand. “I feel More Passion is the last thing this present government needs. This current situation is shameful.”