Tracey Emin says she used her art to discuss rape before #MeToo

Tracey Emin says she used her art to discuss rape before #MeToo as she opens a new exhibition about her ‘soul destroying’ insomnia

  • Tracey Emin told how she used art to discuss rape before the #MeToo movement
  • The artist, 55, this week opens her first London exhibition in five years 
  • A Fortnight Of Tears explores her ‘soul destroying’ battle with insomnia 

Tracey Emin told how she used her art to discuss issues like rape and bullying before the rise of #MeToo. 

The artist, 55, explained she felt people were finally started to listen to the messages she has been communicating for years. 

‘Suddenly I’m allowed to express myself,’ she said.

Tracey Emin told how she used her art to discuss issues like rape and bullying before the rise of #MeToo. She was speaking at the launch of her new exhibition in London, pictured

Emin, best known for works like My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, has never shied away from exploring themes of rape, sex and sexuality in her work. 

She has referred on a number of occasions to her rape at the age of 13. 


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The artist was speaking at the opening of her latest exhibition, the first to be staged in London in five years, which explores her battle with ‘soul destroying’ insomnia. 

A Fortnight of Tears, open at White Cube, Bermondsey, features sculpture, neon, painting, film, photography and drawing.

Emin stands beside a huge bronze sculpture, The Mother, which is part of the exhibition 

The show includes 50 self-portraits, blown up in size, that were taken by Emin on her phone in the early hours of the morning when she struggled to sleep. 

Other works include a huge bronze sculpture, The Mother, and a video featuring a wooden box containing her dead mother’s ashes. 

She said photography helped her at times when she felt ‘distressed’ and was having ‘dark thoughts’. 

Emin, pictured in front of one of her works of art, has never shied away from exploring themes of rape, sex and sexuality in her work

‘For the last 10 years as I’ve got older it’s got more soul destroying,’ she said. ‘I started taking photos about four years ago. It was a case of, “I wonder what I look like”.

‘I’ve got hundreds of them, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All my life I have been taking photographs of myself before it was a selfie.’ 

Tracey Emin: A Fortnight Of Tears runs from February 6 to April 7 at White Cube Bermondsey in London.

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