On 31st April, artist Tracey Emin unveiled a new piece of art in Margate – a pink neon sign attached to Droit House proclaiming “I Never Stopped Loving You”. The message is apparently Emin’s ‘love letter’ to the town which played such a crucial part in her childhood.
Of course, the press has covered the unveiling extensively, although I read the piece by The Times’ Art Correspondent Ben Hoyle with some disappointment. Not for his coverage of Tracey Emin’s unveiling of course. Nor for his background on her, which I found both fascinating and amusing in equal measure. My disappointment was at the way in which, at the stroke of his digital fountain pen, he could dismiss Margate so utterly. “Today the town is on its knees…” he writes “…a quarter of the shops on the seafront are boarded up.”
No mention then of the many new businesses who have migrated into Margate ahead of its cultural rebirth? No mention of those who, through good times and bad, have expended effort and passion to make Margate the quirky place it is today? Mr Hoyle does at least give credit to the Turner Centre, which as you’ll see from my photo from a week or so ago is rising steadily from the ground.
Margate has its problem, like everywhere else, but as part of our seaside heritage, can’t our media talk it up rather than knocking it down?