Sunday, 24 July 2011

Tracey Emin: LOVE IS WHAT YOU WANT



Having never seen Emin's work before, but feeling like I had somehow already passed judgement through what the press had characterised it as, I was intrigued to find out what I actually made of it. Every detail of her life from her childhood to political views is well-known and well-documented. So I was intrigued to find out whether there would be anything new here?

The whole of LOVE IS WHAT YOU WANT brought together Emin's entire career to date in a wide range of different media. It was this variety that originally struck me, from film and video to pieces of sculpture, photography, painting and printmaking. I found myself instantly engaged with the work when first faced with an original handwritten letter from her dad. What could be a better insight into why Emin is the way she is?

Ultimately though, it was the jaunty, hand-crafted, down-at-heel yet feminine aesthetic of Emin's work which I loved above and beyond the subject matter. There is something so appealing about the rainbow colours of her blankets, the delicate embroidery, fuzzy quality of the films and the scribbly but elegant handwriting, and the erratic yet graceful line drawings. From the ramshackle wooden structures to the spangly neon lights, you can see something of her upbringing in a dated seaside town.

I loved the exhibition, and it has inspired me to work on some more personal projects.




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