Art & Photography / In Pictures

Tracey Emin's Car Boot Treasures

In anticipation of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair this weekend, Tracey Emin shares her favourite car boot sale treasures, sold and found

Egg Lady by Tracey Emin
Egg Lady by Tracey Emin

This weekend marks the return of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair. See the likes of Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw and James Unsworth selling their artwork for knockdown prices ranging from £50 to £800, out the back of their (Vauxhall) car boots. The fair takes place this year at Folkestone, Kent, not far from where Emin grew up as a child. In anticipation of the event, she shares her favourite items that she is selling, along with her all time greatest car boot finds.

Item for sale #1 — Egg Lady
"The Egg Ladies were originally made as an Easter special for Emin International. Essentially they are tiny handmade drawings on papier maché eggs and they are some of my favourite things."

#2 — Lilac Legs
“This is a very small edition for me and will be sold through my gallery in New York for considerably more than £5. By creating the raffle it gives everybody the chance to own one and raffles are really good fun at the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair. The Lilac Legs embroidery is taken from a work I made when I represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale."

#3 — Rosette
“I made my first rosette, actually for a horse, at the Thirsk Races in Yorkshire 11 years ago. The winner proudly said she would hang it up in the stables alongside all her other trophies much to my gallerist, Jay Jopling’s shock! The rosette being raffled is an individual piece. The centre has a unique drawing and it's all handmade."

#4 — Napkins
“I never eat a meal without using a napkin, so to make one was a very easy idea for me. From the Emin International perspective it works well on two levels: you’ll have the people who will buy a dozen and use them as napkins and then the person who will just buy one, frame it very nicely and hang it on the wall."

#5 — Me Me
"Me Me is a tiny little figure, seated. I called her Me Me because she reminds me of me!"

Tracey Emin's Top 5 Car Boot Buys: 

1. Two life-size wax foetuses, bought in New york.
"They are of a gestation period of about 5 to 6 months. They sit on my table in my apartment in New York, as though gently sleeping, waiting to be born."

2. A statue of Psyche and Amor, bought in France.
"This particular car boot sale has really, really useless things from odd shoes to defunct electrical goods. On finding my little statue it felt like I had found gold. The next day, strangely enough, I received a postcard from a very close friend of the same statue. It was only then that I realised my loving angel was minus its wings, but it still sits on my mantelpiece along with my friend's postcard."

3.  Lloyd Loom furniture, bought in Spitalfields.
"From my local flea market, I collect Lloyd Loom furniture and spray it gold to put on my studio roof."

4. Tiny animals.
"I have a vast collection of tiny animals, usually no bigger than an inch, ranging from miniature elephants to mice and cute kittens. I have thousands of these things and have plans to build a wonder cabinet to put them in, which will be floor to ceiling on one entire wall."

5. Vintage erotic photographs.
"They are my favourite thing to collect, what I look for every place I go. I am very particular about them as I try to make sure that everyone has the same thing in common the golden section. This is something that is really difficult to explain to the men that have biscuit tins full of porn in the back of their cars.

The Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair takes place in Folkestone on 30th August.

Text by Mhairi Graham