Artist Tracey Emin had an operation this summer after a cancerous tumour was found in her bladder, she has said.
Emin, 57, was diagnosed in the spring, had surgery two months ago and is now in remission, she told Artnet.
But she said she is too weak to return to making art. “Yesterday, I was crying because I wanted to paint and I didn’t have the energy to do it,” she said.
Emin was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999 and is one of Britain’s best-known and most celebrated artists.
Artnet said she had been working on a semi-abstract painting early in lockdown that had been “keeping her up at night”. Only after her diagnosis did she realise it resembled her bladder.
“It’s exactly the same as my bladder with the tumour in it, before I knew I had the cancer – it’s brilliant!” she said.
In March she posted a video on Instagram in which she said she had not been in her studio because she had been unwell.
What is bladder cancer?
Emin, who is based in Margate, Kent, is known for such installations as her unmade bed and the tent Everyone I Have Ever Slept With.
An exhibition of her work is due to open in Brussels on Friday, and her recent paintings will be shown at the Royal Academy in London from 15 November alongside works she has chosen by Edvard Munch.
Artnet said Emin’s operation involved removing many of her female reproductive organs. She told the website she had “half my body chopped out, including half my vagina”.