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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 17:36 GMT
New Saatchi show sure to shock
Picture of Diana
The artist has created over 30 pictures of the late princess
A new art exhibition, to open at the Saatchi Gallery in London's County Hall, promises to attract controversy.

The New Blood exhibition begins in March and marks the first anniversary of the opening of the modern art gallery.

The show includes a startling painting of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The image of the princess with blood pouring from her mouth is one of the latest acquisitions of art collector Charles Saatchi.

Entitled Hi Paul Can You Come Over, the painting represents the paranoia the late princess felt in the last months of her life, according to the artist Stella Vine.

The 35-year-old single mother had never sold a piece of art until Mr Saatchi bought the painting for 600 two weeks ago.

Charles Saatchi
Mr Saatchi is one of the UK's highest-profile arts patrons

Until recently, Ms Vine was a stripper at a club in Soho in London.

She said: "I really loved Diana, warts and all, and I cried the whole day of her funeral.

"This is a dark painting with a bit of violence in there but it has come from imagining what she must have been feeling, all alone in Kensington Palace believing her phones were bugged and seeing Paul Burrell as her only friend."

Canvas dress

The New Blood exhibition will also feature work by other young artists, from Britain and from overseas.

A spokesperson for the gallery said: "In the past 18 months the Saatchi Gallery has acquired a variety of new works by a series of emerging talents both from the UK and the international art scene.

"The New Blood exhibition really demonstrates how the gallery is always evolving and we can think of no better way to celebrate the first anniversary of the Saatchi Gallery at County Hall than with this great new show."

Among the new artists showcased is Liz Neal, who has produced a dress for another royal subject, Elizabeth I, out of painted canvases.

Another new British artist, Conrad Shawcross, has made a giant wooden working loom, while Dan Brady has constructed a nine foot tall paper skyscraper.

Other works hark back to Saatchi discoveries like Damien Hirst - they include a bandaged mummy lying on the floor, clutching cigarettes and taxidermied horses' bodies posed on tables.

The Saatchi Gallery has attracted over 500,000 visitors since last year. It is well known for its emphasis on notorious new British art and houses works by the Chapman Brothers, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.

The exhibition opens on 24 March.


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