British artist Emin displays tampons in new show

16th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

British artist Tracey Emin known for her controversial work said Monday she had shocked even herself after featuring her used tampons in a major new retrospective of her work.

The 47-year-old admitted the display in the show "Love Is What You Want", which opens at the Hayward Gallery in London on Wednesday, made her feel "queasy."

"I do feel a little bit embarrassed about the tampons in the corner. When I unpacked them I thought: oh no," said Emin.

But she said she made the work around 12 years ago and it felt "perfectly natural" at the time.

The tampons are displayed in glass cases next to a pregnancy test in a work titled "The History of Painting Part 1".

Emin, best known for an installation of her unmade bed and for a tent embroidered with the names of everyone she has ever slept with, said she now believed in keeping some details private in her work.

"I never use names in my work any more. I keep some things to myself," she said.

"The tent did get me in a little bit of trouble, I must say. I don't need to use names because it's just in my head."

The retrospective which runs until August 29 contains a warning about explicit content and says under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

It includes Emin's films, memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, appliqued blankets and drawings such as "Those Who Suffer Love", an animation created from around 200 drawings to show a woman masturbating.

It also features new work such as a heart-shaped neon sign which reads "Love Is What You Want".

© 2011 AFP

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