In one of her last public interviews for a year, the controversial British artist Tracey Emin was interviewed by John Kelly for the new series of The Works Presents, the new 10-part series which sees John Kelly meet key figures from the worlds of film, literature, music, theatre and the visual arts.

In the first episode of the RTÉ One series, John traveled to London to meet with Tracey Emin: the self-confessed workaholic is taking a year-long sabbatical from public life in order to concentrate on both her work and her personal life.

In a frank and open discussion, the controversial ‘enfant terrible’ of the British art scene talks about growing up in Margate, being homeless and how, as a teenager, happening across one small painting in a book changed the trajectory of her life.

Talking about her controversial art installation ‘My Bed’ which shot the artist to fame, Tracey hit back at critics who said that the installation will not stand the test of time: “Who knows what would be still around in 150 years,” she said. In terms of public recognition for ‘My Bed’, Tracy said that the public recognise this piece of art “along with the Mona Lisa”.

From her first recognition as an artist in New York in the early 1990s, through to her recent exhibition in Hong Kong, ‘I Cried Because I Love You’, Emin talks about the profoundly biographical nature of her work and how it feels to grow older.

If you missed the interview on RTÉ One, you can watch it now on RTÉ Player. 

RTÉ Player’s new Arts & Culture collection is also showing past episodes of The Works Presents, including interviews with Elvis Costello, playwright Enda Walsh and artist Sean Scully.