From unmade bed to Whitstable beach hut, Tracey Emin makes an exhibition of herself

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Tracey Emin manages to remain the enfant terrible of British art at the age of 37 as she belatedly comes to terms with her body in the latest exhibition of Young British Artists.

Tracey Emin manages to remain the enfant terrible of British art at the age of 37 as she belatedly comes to terms with her body in the latest exhibition of Young British Artists.

Although the word "young" sits ever less comfortably with the likes of Damien Hirst, Emin, Sarah Lucas and co, the work in the exhibition Ant Noises 2 at Charles Saatchi's London gallery shows them still more than capable of being shocking, perplexing and just occasionally uplifting.

Emin, whose celebrated unmade bed features in the exhibition, also has an evocative new exhibit. It is a Whitstable beach hut she bought with her artist friend Sarah Lucas and reassembled. It comes complete with photographs of herself taken inside the hut, without any props or indeed any clothes. The photographer was her boyfriend and fellow artist Matt Collishaw.

Looking at the two exhibits before last night's private view, Emin, who was wearing a striking leopard-skin dress, reflected: "The bed has become an iconic image. When I look at it now I don't see my bedroom. I see all the success it's brought me."

The beach hut, she said, reminded her of her youth. She grew up in Margate and travelling between London and Margate on the train the first piece of coastline she would see was at Whitstable. She also used to love playing in sheds.

"When I talked with Charles Saatchi about the exhibit," she added, "he though the hut was fantastic but they wanted pictures for the catalogue and that is how the pictures of me came about.

"I used to hate my body. I detested it. Now I'm shagged out and nearly 40, I love it. I never used to have any control over it, I suppose, but when you get older you do. I always wanted to change my eyes, being so short-sighted, so I had the laser operation."

Charles Saatchi has paid £75,000 for the beach hut exhibit, which is entitled The Last Thing I Said To You Is Don't Leave Me. He has also paid £150,000 for the unmade bed called My Bed.

Tracey Emin said that she thought the central exhibit by Damien Hirst in the exhibition was "one of the best pieces of work he has made in a very long time".

The work entitled Contemplating A Self-Portrait (As A Pharmacist) is a steel and glass evocation of an artist's studio but presented with the clinical look of a pharmacy. Jenni Blyth, curator at the Saatchi Gallery, said it was "a confessional, romantic piece but with a stark contrast between the wistful romance and the sleek lines of the pharmacy".

Host, a painting by Jenny Saville of a headless figure, part girl part pig with multiple teats, continues Saville's preoccupation with pig organs being used for human transplants. The painting, just completed, was still wet yesterday. Ms Blyth said: "Jenny came back to touch up two or three of the nipples."

The exhibition, Ant Noises 2, is at the Saatchi Gallery, Boundary Road, London, NW8.

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