Confession and Cowardice

Watching the Imagine programme on Tracey Emin this week… love or hate her work… there’s no denying the power and importance of it, of her.

She has been, and still is, brave and brazen, outspoken and outrageous. I find her compelling to watch… I relate… and then I don’t. Maybe to open yourself to the world you need to have been in a position where things can’t get much worse?
I lead a comparatively comfortable and privileged life. I’m hidden in my work: scared to lose that privilege. So I’m not brazen. I’m cowardly and conceal my confession. No confessional box, no priest, no robes, no blessing, no divine forgiveness and no penance… except the self inflicted.
My combing over the thoughts in my head… like Emin, reliving, re-evaluating childhood and the life up-to-now… and again like Emin, previously on the fabric, but now… returning to drawing… we are a similar age. These things are translated into what happens on the paper. But only I know the codes. Only I know what makes these marks.
I think…
I do hope though that on some level, someone will see them as not just marks, that they say something.
To me they are more than the marks. That’s why I keep making them.
Whether I one day reveal, remains to be seen. Maybe when I’m 80 and have nothing to lose?

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