‘My Bed’ to Tate Liverpool

Tracey Emin’ ‘My bed’ to come to Tate Liverpool next Summer

Two decades since its creation does it still have the same power to shock as it did in the Nineties?

Selling for just over 2.5 Million at Christies last year, Count Christian Dureckheim the new owner loaned ‘My Bed’ to the Tate for the next ten years. Currently being exhibited in Tate Britain, then travelling to Tate Liverpool, followed by a period at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Emin’ home town. Is the public outcry the same as the original response when the piece was exhibited as Emin had been nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999? Has ‘My Bed’ lost its shock factor as an artwork which has mellowed over time?

Tracey Emin created ‘My Bed’ in her flat in Waterloo in 1998. The work is a response to a relationship brake down in which she spent four days in bed crying, in mustering the energy to get out of bed the scene she sees when returning was re-created in the artwork. The bed itself is the stage for the contents which represent a destructive lifestyle. Men and women’s underwear scattered across the bedding, items of contraception and KY Jelly representing sexual activity. The polaroids indicate pleasure through the time they where taken and the possibility of returning to these times. The passage of time is shown through the cigarette butts, the empty bottles and the excrement present on the bedding.

Emin had achieved high levels of success as an artist prior to her Turner Prize nomination in 1999 which triggered her to YBA (Young British Artist) status. Earlier works such as ‘Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-1995’ prominent in Charles Staachi’s Sensations exhibition held at the Royal Academy 1997. ‘My Bed’ represents a point in Emin’ life when she was troubled resulting from a difficult upbringing: a victim of sexual abuse, rape and abortion. These factors lead to a corrosive life style choices portrayed in her art form. Emin describes the piece as ‘A snapshot in time’. We now see a very different Tracey Emin at the age of 51. Although she still drinks the more negative ways are in the past. Her Artistic career has grown from strength to strength, she how has a four story studio and a number of employee’s who help with production and administration. The exhibits in the installation came from Emin’ original bed. Things which are now obsolete, contraception and branded goods which no longer exist in the form presented. Tampons she no longer needs and a belt which no longer fits.

Does ‘My bed’ have the same power to shock today as it had in the late nineties? Probably not, to the same extent as when it was first exhibited at Tate Britain, but that is the nature of the Art World and the Gallery going public. The creation of ‘My Bed’ can be seen as a positive drawn from the negative lifestyle which Emin was living in the nineties, a lifestyle which she has left in the Past.

Alison Little



Outside the Box

Homeless 004

Just making finishing touches to my form NFA (No Fixed Abode) to be dropped off in Manchester tomorrow for Outside the Box exhibition.

”Alison Little is a Liverpool based artist who works across the creative sector. After graduating from Art College in 2002 she moved back to the capital for two years before she was to embark on her artistic career. During this period she worked as a support worker with the homeless where she encountered may degraded, but equally remarkable people within her work. Over the pass year she has been working to produce figure bases sculptural works which address social issues. Polythene sheeting is made into bag like for which are stuffed with shredded paper and statements relevant to the piece. This began with ‘Bi Polar B’ where she represented a female sufferer of the illness which was exhibited at the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead for the 2014 World Mental Health Day celebrations. For 2015 Mental Health day she worked on a new form: Brain scape, this encompassed a large head form containing statements around the theme of ‘Dignity in Mental Health’ which was exhibited at Unit 51 in Liverpool’ Baltic Triangle. A third piece was commissioned by Spectrum D in Derby to represent disability Hate Crime for an exhibition held at the Guildhall theatre in the city centre. A figured sprawled across the ground and a broken wheel chair brought a potent message to the exhibition and the people of Derby. For Out of the Box she would like to propose NFA (No Fixed Abode), again creating a polythene figure form stuffed with shredded paper, positioned on an old blanket against a wall of the Gallery space. The figure to contain statements relevant to homelessness: No regular dwelling, night shelter, squatting, begging, unsheltered, rough sleeper, in transit, vagabond, tramp, drifter, drug abuser, alcoholic, non-conformist, freedom.”

Art with a Heart are holding the exhibition at 6 George Street, WA14 1SF, 23- 29 November, 11am to 4pm. Out of the Box





Presented late night at Liverpool Ignite held at the Leaf Tea Bar, a great evening. 5 very fast minutes to talk through at the Art Works I have worked on over the last decade. 20 fast slides and only 15 seconds to talk about each slide. My God that was quick!

Everything from Superlambanana’s to Penguins, Racehorse’s to Vikings. Family fun art to highly conceptual cutting edge social activist works. In only 5 minutes……

Well it was a pleasure looking to rlambs togeturn again in January and speak again later in the year.  Ignite Liverpool November 2015