'My bed' artist Tracey Emin becomes fourth Honorary Freewoman of Margate

Tracey Emin during a preview of her A Fortnight of Tears, at the White Cube in Bermondsey, London. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

Artist Tracey Emin has been honoured with the freedom of her hometown of Margate, Kent.

She has been awarded the title of Honorary Freewoman of Margate in recognition of her work and her investment into the culture of the town.

Ms Emin is only the fourth woman ever to receive the honour.

This is the first time that the Charter Trustees have conferred the honour, the three previous recipients were honoured by the Borough of Margate.

The ceremony took place on Friday, August 12, at Ms Emin's studio in Union Crescent, Margate.

Cllr Heather Keen, Mayor of Margate said: "The Margate Charter Trustees really wanted to recognise Tracey's contributions to the town, both for her artistic and philanthropic work.

"Tracey has spoken openly about returning to Margate and making it her home, and this seemed like a fitting honour, borne from an original suggestion by Cllr Mick Tomlinson.

"Today is extra special for us as it marks the first time that we have bestowed the title of Honorary Freewoman in the 50 year history of the Margate Charter Trustees."

Artist Tracey Emin during a photocall in 2014 with her piece 'My Bed'. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images

Tracey Emin, Freewoman of Margate said: "This really is such a nice thing to receive.

"I've always loved Margate and championed it as a place, but now I can honestly say I'm very proud of all the changes that are happening here.

"I'm very happy that I returned to be part of it.

"I'd love to see Margate become the European town of culture in 2030."

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of Thanet District Council said: "Margate is flourishing as a centre of creativity and the fact that Tracey Emin is now living and working here can only help to increase Margate's profile and further help the regeneration of the town.

"'I'm delighted to have been invited to join the celebrations today which recognise the valuable contribution that Tracey has made to our original seaside resort."

Ms Emin's name will be added to the Margate Charter Trustees' Honours Board, alongside the likes of Winston Churchill who became a Freeman of Margate in 1957.