Tracey Emin warns of 'rioting in the streets' over marginalisation of art in education
The Turner Prize-winner said the cultural world is up in arms over the proposed GCSE overhaul
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 21 January 2013
Controversial artist Tracey Emin once said the Conservatives were the only hope for the arts in Britain but has warned of rioting in the streets if the subject is not a core part of the Government’s overhaul of GCSEs.
The cultural world is up in arms over proposals for the English baccalaureates (Ebacc), which include dropping arts as one of the core subjects. The Tate is spearheading a campaign to designed to convince education secretary Michael Gove to change his mind.
Emin said the effects of giving inner-city children no creative outlet at schools could be devastating, and could transform into violence. “If anyone thought the riots in 2011 were bad, take the arts out of the curriculum and it will be worse than it was before.”
She has worked with troubled teenagers and said challenging them with the arts had a very positive effect, adding: “Michael Gove has to rethink the policy.”
“If art isn’t considered as important as other subjects it will just fall by the wayside,” Emin said, before adding: “It can’t become a secondary subject.”
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “No school will be prevented from offering qualifications in the arts, but it is the core academic subjects most valued by universities and employers which make up the Ebacc.” The consultation closed in December and the Government will set out its response “in due course”.
Emin’s decision to weigh in is something of a surprise as she is one of the few from the artist community to admit backing the Tories in the run up to the last election.
Emin was born in London and grew up in Margate. She earned a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art before rising to fame as one of the Young British Artists, with controversial work such as the unmade bed. “It was only the confidence that my art teachers instilled in me that allowed me to go down the route I did,” she said.
She is regarded as becoming more establishment in recent years. She became a fellow of the Royal Academy in 2007, and was appointed the institution’s professor of drawing four years later. She has created artwork for Downing Street and was recently awarded a CBE.
Yet last year, she wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron air her concerns over the Government’s decision not to include arts as a core subject in their Ebacc proposals. “I got a letter back saying they are investing in other forms of the arts. And there are interesting ideas around Saturday morning clubs.”
She revealed a year ago that the arts industry had been abusive over her support for the Conservatives. “The world I live in, people never vote Tory – especially within the art world – so I am a bit of an outsider on that one,” she said.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre