No man’s land

I’ve done some thinking, and my project has taken a massive turn. Moving away from the portraits, and looking at domestic violence in a different way. Through social media. I had seen “No Man’s land” at the Mostyn; an installation that was evolving. A tree whose leaves were created by the audiences thoughts, opinions, responses and memories of War. I decided to look into social media’s thoughts on domestic violence and create my own version.

Currently trending in light of the NFL Ray Rice video leak (Ray Rice is seen hitting his fiance unconscious on an elevator) the hashtags #whyistayed and #whyileft have been trending. These are men and women’s reasons for staying in abusive relationships and the reasons why they left.

From this I have created cards with some of the tweets hand written on them. They are all anonymous to make the piece more personal, as though any person in these situations could have written them. One of them is mine, but a few could relate to the situation I was in.


(TRIGGER WARNING) This is the video of the abuse by Ray Rice


I’ve been feeling very low the past couple of weeks and it’s put me in a spiral leading to lack of inspiration. I’ve tried hard to keep drawing but sadly nothing’s coming to me. I start back in uni on the 23rd and I hope my creativity returns. There have been a lot of personal issues recently and sadly they don’t seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel (yet).

Couldn’t have said it better myself

A common criticism is that Tracey Emin artistically fourth-rate.

She can draw just about as well as millions of British people and much less well than tens of thousands.  I know Tracey Emin gets technicians to do her prints, but whether she does her embroidery, patch-work and so on herself or has them done, they require less skill than would have been displayed by the average eight-year-old Victorian girl. 

So is her success is down to her exploitation of what, infamously, is in her knickers?

Tracey Emin specialises in what was once described (apropos the novels of Edna O’Brien) as ‘the cartography of the knicker stain’. There’s nothing new about exhibiting tampons, condoms and so on, but combined with her crude sketches of her privates and the accompanying fatuous narrative of confessional and self-revelatory rubbish, she’s managed to corner the ‘look-at-me-aren’t-I-shocking?’ market.

So she’s a fame junkie?

Like Damien Hirst, her major talent is making money out of dross. In Tracey Emin’s case, she’s been brilliant at becoming friendly with celebrities; social climbers flock to be photographed with her. She became a Conservative supporter just as Labour looked set to lose the election and David Cameron was so desperate to seem cool that he asked her to provide Number 10, Downing Street with an artwork to give it a bit of ‘edge’. Having been embraced by the new establishment, she’s acquired a CBE (I’m only surprised it wasn’t a damehood, but no doubt it will be in time), and the Royal Academy, in a desperate longing for street-cred, has made her Professor of Drawing.

She also recycles other people’s ideas doesn’t she?

Her neon signs saying something self-consciously ever-so-shocking are a case in point. The Downing Street version says ‘More Passion’, but Tracey Emin attracted much more attention for stuff like Is Anal Sex Legal? and Is Legal Sex Anal? Yet neon lights are old hat: as early as the 1970s, Bruce Nauman produced one that said Run From Fear/Fun From Rear.

It is said that she’s an incurable narcissist.

On and on she goes with her maudlin, narcissistic ramblings in words and images.  As Richard Dorman remarked of the piss-poor work she shamed Britain with at the 2007 Venice Biennale, ‘The note of adolescent self-pity she struck at the very beginning of her career hasn’t altered by one iota.  It’s all about poor little Tracey Emin, and what a hard time she’s had in life.’  All of which is a bit much from a multi-millionaire who because of the credulousness and cynicism of the art establishment has fashioned a glittering career out of nothing.

Ruth Dudley Edwards