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  • Writer's pictureHannah Faith Jackson

Research - Tracey Emin

The contemporary artist, Tracey Emin, has a similar fascination with the symbolism of the bed, expressed in her creative project ‘My Bed’, in which sleep and the human subconscious mind became a valuable source of inspiration. The work arose from a bad relationship, leading to a bout of drinking and a prolonged spell of depression. When she emerged from this period, she realised that the visual results encapsulated her experience. She had the urge to want to show others and display it as a piece of art. The gallery installation of the bed itself didn’t convey the typical safe-haven qualities and symbolism of sleep, but rather it spoke of and consolidated her despair. This is evident in the piles of junk from her daily life: empty bottles of vodka, dirty slippers, cigarettes and other rubbish.

Emin’s creativity of using a physical bed as a tool to engage with viewers is something which resonated with my own ideas of designing a physical prop which could be used on location shoots. The role reversal of the bed as being a symbol of despair as opposed to that of safety is a theme which inspired the thinking behind the secondary section of the project - nightmares.

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