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Tattoo Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

17 March, 2017at 8:00 am - 7 January, 2018at 5:00 pm

The exhibition is genuinely ground-breaking
Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing, featuring cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors. This is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK featuring over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts.

Celebrating the rich artistic heritage
The exhibition challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age, whilst at the same time celebrating the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing in the UK.

Showcasing the work of major tattoo artists…
The exhibition showcases the work of major tattoo artists from George Burchett, via the Bristol Tattoo Club, to Alex Binnie and Lal Hardy

Private collection displays
The exhibition features items from three of the most important private collections of tattoo material in Britain, loaned by collectors Jimmie Skuse, Paul “Rambo” Ramsbottom and Willy Robinson, providing a rare opportunity to display original artwork and artefacts not otherwise on public display.

Jessie Knight
The exhibition also delves into previously unseen private archives that reveal hidden histories, including the incredible real story of Britain’s pioneering female tattoo artist, Jessie Knight.

The 100 Hands Project
Tattoos are a living and uniquely three dimensional form of art. The museum responds to this by commissioning an innovative installation which literally brings the art off the gallery wall to create a ‘sculptural map’ of British tattoo art today. The ‘100 Hands Project’, curated by Alice Snape of ‘Things and Ink’ magazine, is based around one hundred silicone arms, each tattooed with an original design by 100 of the leading tattoo artists working across the UK.

Contemporary art commissions
The exhibition also includes three major contemporary art commissions from three tattoo artists working in three very different tattoo traditions. Tihoti Faara Barff’s work celebrates the modern revival of Tahitian tattooing; Matt Houston’s commission is a heroic celebration of the sailor tattoo; and Aimée Cornwell, a second-generation artist and rising star in the tattoo world, illustrates how tattooing is breaking down different artistic boundaries with her own form of fantasia.


17 March, 2017at 8:00 am
7 January, 2018at 5:00 pm


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