1. ITV Report

Tracey Emin warns Government not to downgrade art

Tracey Emin has warned the Government not to downgrade art in schools Photo: PA

Artist Tracey Emin has warned the Government not to downgrade art in the school curriculum. Emin, 49, famous for displaying her unmade bed and a tent with the names of people she had slept with, said that there could be more riots if the subject was neglected in schools.

Art should be taken really seriously, not just in art schools but in every school. Not in terms of monetary terms or historic terms, but as a way of living and a way of being. Art is the soul of our nation. And if the soul isn't looked after, then everything will go to pieces. Morality, everything, just breaks up and explodes.

– Tracey Emin speaking to the Radio Times

The Government recently closed its consultation on the national curriculum. Emin added: "As I've said to politicians before, if they think the riots were bad two years ago, you take art off the school curriculum and see what happens in five years' time."

The artist, who was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy in 2011, also warned that drawing was becoming a lost art.

She said: "It's amazing how many students don't want to draw. "They're not interested in drawing....We need to revive drawing as a discipline because as an artist now everyone thinks it's about high production and you need this and you need that.

"You don't, you need a pencil and a piece of paper. You just need to home in on your own skills and your own creativity.

"So, I have the title or an idea in my mind and then it comes out in my hand. And I draw a lot from my imagination, most of my figurative work is from my head and it's a release of some kind of psyche which is in me."