Friday, 14 August 2015

Tracey Emin Monoprints and Blankets

Tracey Emin is not an artist I have ever paid much attention to. I was aware she made textile pieces, but they always felt so far away from my own aesthetic that I paid little attention. While researching monoprints I was surprised to find these works by her
Terribly Wrong, 1997

Sad Shower in New York, 1995

From the Week of Hell '94, 1995

They are all depicting very personal events, such as an abortion that went wrong in 'Terribly Wrong'. She has used back drawing to create them and I cant help wondering why. What has the process of monprinting given her over simple drawing? I wonder if the process has somehow distanced her from the final product, by using a process where complete control of the finished product is taken away, such as monoprinting, she was able to express herself more freely.
I have been  doing lots of drawing recently, all of traditional still lifes using traditional techniques in preparation for a class. Perhaps some more expressive uses could be found for my newly refined skills, to include the next stage from the OCA Printmaking class on monoprinting which includes back drawing. Am I brave enough to depict my innermost thoughts and anxieties in monoprint? I'm not sure I like these images particularly, but they have certainly got me thinking. Would they make any sense without the titles? I'm not sure. They are generally displayed together and their effect is a collective one.

Emin's monoprints and drawings are reminiscent of quick sketches drawn from life, as if she was using back drawing as a medium for gestural drawing, brief, figurative sketches, caught quickly as the subject moves. My earlier post on monoprinting shows an image of moving traffic, with movement created with blurring of the ink, Both of these suggest moving subject matter, could these two ideas be explored together? 

However, these images are more likely to have been drawn from Emin's subconcious, would drawing, or back drawing images from my memory, describing my own emotions, be an area I should explore? I could never be as open or free in my art as Emin, very few people are, but this may be a good way of loosening up as an artist and generate some interesting ideas for more expressive work.

Hate and Power can be a Terrible Thing, 2004

Emin's blankets are an unusual use of the medium. They are not art quilts, no joining of quilt layers took place, they are constructed by hand applique onto a prepared background. She has created a big contrast between the soft comforting medium of a blanket and the strong words. The message here has personal connotations but also powerful political messages too. Some of these blankets were created around the time of Tony Blair and George Bush's war in Iraq, with anti war themes. This a theme I identify with hugely personally. All the artwork I create is developed from an aesthetic perspective, could I develop broader themes in my work? Maybe these ideas come later in the development of an artists skills, but still interesting none the less.

All images taken from the Tate website. 

No comments:

Post a Comment