Charles Thomson is the leading authority on on the relationship between Billy Childish's and Tracey Emin's work. He was friends with both during the 1980s in North Kent - a period of Emin's life which she described in 1995 as her "greatest influence" but which more recently has been revised virtually out of existence and has become the missing chapter of her life.
Thomson shows that she has very good reason for this, as her later work contains many features and ideas which previously appeared in Childish's. Amazing coincidence? - you be the judge.
As preparation, a visit to the Saatchi Gallery is recommended. Part of the display is Tracey Emin's photograph `I'VE GOT IT ALL' (2000). This shows her sitting on the ground pushing bank notes between her open thighs with coins scattered in front of her.
Visitors to the current photo exhibition in the `Real Turner Prize Show 2000' at the Pure Galley can see a photo of Billy Childish from 1986. It shows him standing in front of a mural which he had painted in his bedroom (where Emin stayed on many occasions). The mural contains a prominent display of money bags with pound signs on them, as well as piles of coins. Along the top of it in large letters is `I'VE GOT EVERYTHING INDEED'.
Another amazing coincidence? You be the judge.
(Note from the Webmistress: for anyone who finds a sour taste in their mouth upon reading this, please come along and argue. That's what I intend to do. It's taken me nearly 2 years to see the point - and there is one - it is not just a cheap publicity gimmick as some might think. Eugene Doyen's photgraphs are proof - proof that all these people, MIss Emin included - were once very good friends.)
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