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press: Remembering Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas’s ‘The Shop’

In December 1992, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin – then young artists recently graduated from the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths, respectively – signed a short lease on a former doctor’s surgery in the East End of London. The Shop, as it came to be known, surveyed all kinds of handmade merchandise – T-shirts bearing the painted slogans ‘Complete Arsehole’ and ‘Fucking Useless’ were particularly popular, as were ashtrays with pictures of Damien Hirst’s face stuck to the bottom (a nod to the cigarette works he was making at the time). It was also a gathering point – for making and talking, drinking and dancing – that was unlike anywhere else and which drew people back time and again.