From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout British history.
It is estimated that about one in five of the UK population is tattooed and this figure rises to one in three for young adults. And yet, whilst the visibility of tattooing in contemporary culture may feel like something new, tattoos and tattoo art have always held a significant place in Britain’s history and historical imagination. The exhibition features cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors to tell a story that challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age. At the same time it gives a voice to and celebrating the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing as an art form in the UK.
Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed: curated by National Maritime Museum Cornwall offers a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing.