Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 16:44 UK

Tracey Emin 'scared' of critics


Tracey Emin interviewed about the collection

Controversial artist Tracey Emin has admitted she is "scared" that an exhibition looking back at 20 years of her work will be criticised.

The first ever retrospective of Emin's work is being shown at Edinburgh's Gallery of Modern Art as part of the city's Art Festival.

She said she was used to getting "slagged off" but this show was so "immense" she was looking for support.

The exhibit includes famous works such as My Bed from 1998.

The work features an unmade bed with a urine-soaked sheet, littered with cigarette packets and condoms.

'Quite shocking'

Emin said she had been very emotional about putting together the exhibition.

She said: "To see the different stages of my life through the work, that was quite shocking.

"I got quite emotional and I thought I would be a lot more analytical and distance myself from it.

"Last week with the instalment I got to an emotional grinding halt where it felt a bit too much.

"My whole life was in front of me."

So 20 years - that's enough just to wind people up, because I'm not going away, am I?
Tracey Emin

She added that the experience had brought her to tears.

Emin said: "I don't mind getting slagged off for one show but I don't want to get slagged off for this one because it is so immense and so much work. I need support at the moment."

The artist said she thought there were certain people who believed that if they criticised her often enough she would "crawl off and stop doing it".

"What they don't understand is that the more they kick you down the tougher you get," she said.

"So 20 years - that's enough just to wind people up, because I'm not going away, am I?"

Emin said she believes she is attacked more because she is a woman.

"I am a woman with a voice and I don't mind shouting and screaming occasionally," she said.

"I think you are not supposed to do that if you are an artist.

"Men don't get it as much as women, that's a fact."

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