Tracey Emin – What I love about her work…

Tracey Emin Love is what you want, The Hayward Gallery

Hotel International

No chance (What a year)

And so I left, 2008

Trust me, 2000

Riding for a fall, 1998

When announcing last week that I was going to go and see Tracy Emin’s exhibition at the Hayward Gallery I got some mixed reactions… ‘Do you like her work?’ people asked in surprise ‘Don’t you think it’s a bit explicit?’ One person had met her a while back and said she thought she was rude. But I like her work, in a simple and naive way I’ll admit, but I like to admire her work for the overall textile feel and not for the content behind it. I try to remain oblivious to the hash words sprawled across her wall hangings and focus on the pretty fabrics she uses and combination of bright florals and colours. Maybe thats wrong but thats what I do…
I like the way you can see the love and care that has gone into the tapestries and the sheer scale and detail of them. The neons at the exhibition were all lined up along a dark corridor, illuminating the way with her thoughts. Soft, bright hues of colour in the darkness. Following into a section showing 3 of the films that she has made. One of them, Riding for a fall, 1998, was just her riding a horse along the beach in her home town of Margate which I found somehow quite captivating…
I like the way that though all the things that have happened to her in the past she has been able to find a way to express herself in a way that helps us to understand why she is like she is today. And that this work is available for us to enjoy.
The final room in the exhibition was full of the work that gives her the controversial reputation she has today. Used tampons, details of her abortion and explicit sketches lined the walls. This is the work that I care not to look at and I went back the first room and just gazed up at the wall hangings lining the double height gallery walls…not reading…just enjoying them for what I see and I left the gallery with that as my final memory…

Posted in: Art

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