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Tracey Emin to leave London for the Kent coast after studio expansion plans refused

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David Chipperfield: Plans for Tracey Emin studio and home

Tracey Emin will leave behind her long-established London studio and relocate to the Kent coast, after plans to expand the building were rejected by Tower Hamlets council. The artist told The Guardian she had withdrawn the plans, designed by architect David Chipperfield, saying: “Why would you want to be somewhere you’re not wanted?”

The artist had hoped to demolish a 1920s block next door to her existing Spitalfields studio, to add a five-storey home and studio extension, but local conservation groups rallied against the plans. She has since retracted the plans and said she will instead move to Kent. She is originally from Margate in Kent, and a vocal campaigner for its regeneration.

“There’s places now in Britain that are desperate for artists,” she says in The Guardian interview. “Margate’s thriving, Folkestone, Hastings. All that Kent coast. And I could have a giant studio and be really relaxed.”

She will be one of an increasing number of artists leaving London in search of more studio space for their money. “A lot of the creative people are having to move out of London because it’s not conducive. Berlin, for example, helps artists build studios, helps them find land. Berlin understands that having artists inside the inner city is good karma, interesting.”

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David Chipperfield: Plans for Tracey Emin studio and home

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Tracey Emin
Photo © Ana Escobar