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stoned in love

Artist Tracey Emin has married a rock

She said that it’s “very impressive and I like it a lot”.

The Last Great Adventure is You exhibition - London PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

BRITISH ARTIST TRACEY Emin has always done things her own way – and now she’s chosen a rather unusual marriage partner.

As she prepared to open for a new show in Hong Kong – I Cried Because I Loved You – Emin told the catalogue interviewer that she had ‘married’ a rock.

In an interview with Post Magazine, Emin elaborated on her new partner, saying: “It’s in my garden, it’s very nice and very impressive and I like it a lot.

The other thing about the stone is that it could be quite monstrous and scary. Instead I saw it as a protection thing as opposed to a fearful thing.

She also said that the stone “[is] not going anywhere”, and is maybe an anchor for her, no matter how mad her life might be.

Royal Academy of Arts' Keeper's House PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The Art Newspaper says that Emin was wearing her father’s white funeral shroud when she married the rock. She told them that she’s been reading the letters of Pope John Paul II, which have shown her how “love can present itself in many ways”.

Marrying a rock might seem, well, more than a little strange (and yes, we’re quite sure it’s probably not legal). But in the context of Emin’s life and work, which have always been inextricably intertwined, it makes a strange sort of sense.

She has lived out her love life in the public eye. My Bed, which depicted her post-illness bed, strewn with tampon and condom wrappers and complete with slept-in sheets, won the 1999 Turner Prize. She has explored love, sex and relationships throughout her work, and she’s also been the sort of public figure who excels at getting publicity.

Emin's Artwork at the Tate

She told the Art Newspaper that her idea of love as she has aged has changed. It’s not so much about lust, but about spirituality and the quest for a soul mate.

Emin might not necessarily have found that soulmate in a rock, but after a life with many peaks and troughs, she has found something quite literally stable.

Perhaps most importantly, just as she chose to have no one else there for the ‘marriage’ ceremony, Emin doesn’t really need to care what the rest of us think about it.

If she changes her mind, though, there’s always a way to turn the relationship into a piece of art. Win-win.

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