Tracey Emin Welcome Reception

(6pm, Lord Mayor's Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall)

Good evening everyone and welcome.

A very warm welcome to two of our City Centre artists here this evening - Tracey Emin and Hany Armanious and to the City Centre curator, Barbara Flynn, and many of you who represent Australia's and Sydney's important cultural organisations. I also welcome the many artists here who have and are working with us on the transformation of our City.

I also want to acknowledge the members of our Public Art Advisory Panel who were instrumental in the selection of works, and also our Design Advisory Panel. We aspire to creating public spaces that are stimulating and engaging and their experience and your advice is important to our work.

Tracey is here to begin work on The distance of your heart - a series of bronze bird sculptures to be placed along Bridge Street for passers-by to discover on buildings, in doorways and over awnings. And Hany, of course, is also working on his Pavilion for Belmore Park.

They were both selected from a field of over 700 artists who expressed interest in the projects as part of our transformation of the City.

Tracey has exhibited widely, including solo and group exhibitions in Britain, Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and the United States; she's represented Britain at the 2007 Venice Biennale and is the recipient of numerous honours. She needs no introduction to you I know!

Tracey maintains that "art should not be difficult, art should give you something, there should be a dialogue….".

Our City Art program aims to integrate public art into the fabric of the City - whether through the Eora Journey celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, or as part of urban renewal at Green Square or through the transformation of the City Centre.

I am delighted to welcome Tracey to Sydney and that Sydney can proudly host a great work of art by Tracey Emin. I am delighted Tracey will talk to us now about her work and her project for our city. Thank you Tracey.