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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 16:26 GMT
Emin's slippers fetch 5,500
Tracey Emin
Emin encouraged the audience to raise their bids
Embroidered slippers belonging to controversial British artist Tracey Emin have sold for 5,500 at an auction at the UK's largest contemporary art fair, Art2001.

The slippers, decorated by Emin herself, were just one lot in the sale of personal possessions belonging to leading lights in the world of contemporary British art.

Tracey Emin's slippers
Emin embroidered the slippers

Art2001, now in its 13th year, will give the proceeds of Tuesday night's auction to the South London Gallery - which supports upcoming artists and helps the socially excluded become involved in art.

Artists Gavin Turk and Anish Kapoor also contributed to the auction, which was as idiosyncratic as Art2001 itself, with items such as lipsticks and reading glasses up for sale.

Overall more than 33,000 was raised for the gallery by the auction, which was being held for the first time.

The gallery's head of publicity Katharine Burton said: "We are overjoyed at the results as we really had no idea how things would go.

"But Tracey attended the auction and was brilliant.

"She egged the audience on and generally helped up the bids."

Elsewhere in the sale, a plate given by Tim Noble and Sue Webster, raised a bid of 2,700, while Gilbert and George's collection of personal pieces of memorabilia went for 2,600.

Peter Blake's paint brushes
Peter Blake's paint brushes went for 600

Former Turner prize winner Chris Ofili - who made headlines for using elephant dung in his canvasses - donated a watercolour which also went for 2,600.

The lowest price came in at 50 for a pair of brushes belonging to Karen Klimnick and most of the pieces went to private buyers.

However, Ms Burton said that Emin's slippers were bought by one of the 100 contemporary galleries exhibiting at Art2001.

Over the next five days, more than 40,000 people are expected to visit Art2001.

They will see thousands of contemporary works from around the UK.

Corinne Day's photo
Corinne Day's photo forms part of the Art2001 show

Ms Burton commented: "There is lots of interesting works on show this year, and particularly from galleries in south London."

But the real beauty of the annual art fair is that it allows members of the public to buy the works of possible future stars at prices ranging from as little as 100 to 150,000.

Three years ago the value of sales at the fair amounted to 2.4m.

Organisers say they expect this year's event to generate more than last year's total of 10m.

The auction was held at London's Islington Business Design Centre.

Art2001 runs until 21 January, at the same venue.

See also:

15 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Artist Turk opens Guevara fortnight
20 Sep 00 | UK
Art's shock treatment
16 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Tracey makes a pile
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