Sunday 19 July 2015

Film of The Tattooed Lady

On Friday the talented film maker Hilary Easter Jones came to HOME to film The Tattooed Lady and over the weekend she has created this fantastic short film. I love the way it captures the piece's playful yet melancholy feel. As the film says the exhibition closes next weekend so you have one week left to visit the Lady and get a tattoo while they last!

Thursday 2 July 2015

Tattoo transfers: The Tattooed Lady

Remember those bubblegum sweets you used get as a child, the ones that had the cheap tattoo transfers in the wrapper?

I loved those. The tattoos were always rubbish, fuzzy undefined things but so exciting to wear! They are what partly inspired me to create my own tattoo transfers for The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, an exhibition exploring heartbreak and the dark side of the funfair

Dodgy tattooists and partners names impulsively etched into the skin. These were the ideas flitting across my mind as I thought about work for the show, and they seemed to sum up the exhibition's two themes perfectly.

Tattoos are physical scars. Love can leave emotional scars. Sometimes these two things meet and become permanently tangled together.

I collected true stories of love tattoo regret to create new designs for my temporary tattoos. Here are the stories told verbatim and how I translated them into new art works:

The Dead Squid

It's not the first thing you think of when you mention a loved one, but this anonymous story shared through my website was not only funny but ripe with inspiration! It helped me create an image of hopeless finality

'The One that I thought was The One but was not The One and I took a trip to Scarborough. Upon arrival, we immediately decided to get matching tattoos of a > shape on our hands from a dodgy seaside inker. When you put them together it made a ><, which was cute until we realised it made our fingers look like the tentacles of a dead squid. Our relationship is as dead as said squid, and now everyone thinks I've got some weird heart etched on me. Annoyingly, the ex's < is super crisp and nicely done. Always do your research kids... '

The challenge for me here was creating an aesthetically pleasing dead squid, something droopy, slimy and met with an untimely end. There was a lot of tentacle placement, drawing, tracing and re-drawing until I got the look I was going for. I feel quite sorry for this wilted chap.


The beaten up fairy

A simple tale that puts images into your head, I decided to show an unusual version of this common motif,

'I started getting tats at the very young age of 16. Stupid. I regret all of them and am in the process of getting them removed. My first was done by my boyfriend of the time. I got a fairy on my lower stomach. Pregnancy, weight gain, and gravity have beaten her up pretty bad over the years. She lasted much longer than the relationship' 


The Indian Ink

How many people can relate to this thoughtless teenage act? And how many of them did it for this reason? I wanted to create something that would show the crudeness of the tattoo and the permanence.
'Everyone was doing it; crosses, skulls, initials, the whole school was getting it done. It was my mate’s big sister who I had a bit of thing for who said she’d do it for me. Everybody was inking everybody in the mid 80’s. We used to use Indian Ink and a large sewing needle. We’d thread the needle and wrap the cotton around it so it acted as a reservoir for the ink when you pushed it into the skin.
I basically let her do it because she had boobs'


The swallow

Probably the saddest tattoo tale I collected, this story was shared anonymously online and I can't help feeling for the young girl who so desperately wanted to please and prove herself to her already tattooed boyfriend. The lewd remarks she now gets because of these tattoos only makes the story more distressing and begs the question; why do people feel the need to pass comment about other people's tattoos, especially to tattooed females?

'I have two American Classic style swallows on my shoulders that I got as soon as I was legally allowed. At the time I went with an ex boyfriend, who was covered in tattoos, and was too nervous to explain the positioning wasn't quite where I wanted them. This was five years ago, and now due to shoddy needle work and my nervousness the lines have spread, leaving them looking sloppy, and because of their positioning they are quite hard to cover. I've since had two more tattoos, and feel these ones were a massive mistake. Similarly I get a lot of "have you got swallows cus you swallow" when I'm out, this makes me feel very uncomfortable'


You can bag yourself one of these miniature artworks from The Tattooed Lady vending machine at HOME until 26th July! Join the fun and enjoy the thrill of a tattoo with a story but none of the lasting repercussions!