I recently found a very outdated article about one of Tracey Emin's works- To meet my past the "confessional quilt" that was on display as part of a quilt show at the Victoria & Albert Museum. I have followed Emin's work since graduate school as a result of many of my faculty comparing my work to hers. At first I adamantly dismissed these comments as I felt our work was SO different- feeling that her work is often angry and comes out of a place of sadness and mine being more romantic and coming out of an exploration of the yearning for happiness. And, I still see this major difference but as I researched her more and more I did see the connection my work had to hers-
the diaristic language,
the scrawled handwriting,
the confessional aspect,
the obvious use of craft based medium,
the placement of the work in the domestic space,
and the admittance of female sexuality.
and these are the reasons that I still love and am inspired by her work.
Her earlier bed piece, My bed, was a piece were she transported her actual bed, dirty sheets, condom wrappers, bedside garbage, and such into the gallery.
Saatchi Gallery describes the seminal piece as:
Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she’s as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.
The bed work, To meet my past, has a very different feel, less shocking and more thoughtful. Instead of feeling like a statement to shock and awe this work seems much more like a psychological portrait of different states of mind and an emotional journey.
To read the article with a detailed description of the quilt go here.
The exhibit itself designed to show the history of quilts in Britian sounds as if it was amazing. You can read more about the exhibit here and see all the works in the exhibit here.
There are plenty that can inspire.