Tracey Emin

Roman Standard

About this artwork

As Emin has stated, this work for her “represents strength but also femininity. Most public sculptures are a symbol of power which I find oppressive and dark. I wanted something that had a magic and alchemy, something which would appear and disappear and not dominate.” In comparison to her explicit monoprints or appliqué blankets, for which she is better known, ‘Roman Standard’ is a quiet, contemplative work. A small bird, cast in bronze, perches on top of a thirteen-foot-tall pole. The title refers to the ancient Roman tradition of carrying standards into battle. The work can, however, be seen as a different form of self-portrait: the bird is small and vulnerable, but at the same time, like the traditional Roman standards, is visible from a distance and commands attention.

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Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin