Ode To Emin
I planned to write up this post as soon as I arrived home yesterday, but in truth I was a little overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted, inspired & wanted to sit and ponder Tracy Emin: Love is What You Want. The collection is vast, more than my brain was ever expecting & I came away a little frazzled in a wonderful way.
What I love about Tracey Emin is how she wears her heart, shame, failures, successes, anger, love on her sleeve for all to see. As I walked around the Hayward Gallery I couldn’t help but think there are hundreds of women who have similar life experiences to her, but the difference is she’s brave enough to talk about it, express it. They are hard hitting subjects, abortion, sexual identity, menstruation, masturbation. She is unapologetic, and the unique charm being she’s not doing it to shock, I truly think this is just her core personality. If you are unconvinced by this statement then make sure you watch the personal films titled Why I never became a dancer and another in Room 3, Trauma where she talks about her experience of abortion.
We spent our family holidays in Margate, escaping one seaside town (I grew up in Torbay) to take our holidays in another. Seeing art and film relating to a place I have strong memories about was one thing. But I can relate to her need to escape a seaside town where nothing ever happens from my own teenage years. Morrissey so eloquently summed up what it is to grow up in a small seaside town in Everyday is like Sunday.
I would never label myself a feminist, but as a Woman I am truly grateful that Tracey Emin confronts subjects that have previously been taboo, not considered appropriate or perhaps deemed too private to approach. It is hard hitting, perhaps a times a little vulgar and shocking to some. But if you go with an open mind you’ll definitely find a lot of beauty, the exhibitions title Love is what we want prevails and is the ultimate, overiding emotion I took away with me. ♥
Tips: Book in advance via Southbank Centre to avoid the large queues this is attracting. We were advised to start at the top level and work our way down. It is a lot to take in, and by taking this route you aproach a lot of her poetry and letters last. By the time I got to Trauma my mind was already on overload and I feel that I didn’t take in as much as I’d of liked too. This is the hardest hitting room so if I went again I would perhaps approach the exhibition in reverse.