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Graduates involved in life casting for major tattoo art exhibition

Posted: 12 April 2017

Graduates involved in life casting for major tattoo art exhibition

We are delighted to be involved in a new, cutting-edge exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth entitled Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed.

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 artifacts.

Our involvement was with three major contemporary art commissions from three tattoo artists working in 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.

To help this part of the exhibition come to fruition, Neill along with four of our 7-week course graduates and our Falmouth studio assistant life cast three models to produce silicone body parts for these fabulous artists to tattoo on. A pair of buttocks and thighs, a torso and a pair of arms were made and shipped to the artists who after tattooing them, sent them back to Falmouth where they are now an integral part of the exhibition. Look out for a film of how the life casting was done very soon.

It opened on March 17th for a long run challenging myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age, whilst celebrating the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing in the UK. It presents a comprehensive history of the subject that features cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors.

Guest curator Dr Matt Lodder says, “Tattooing is a magical, romantic, exciting and often-misunderstood art-form, and this exhibition aims to communicate some of that magic to visitors.”

The exhibition showcases the work of major tattoo artists and features items from three of the most important private collections of tattoo material in Britain, revealing previously unseen archives including the incredible true story of Britain’s pioneering female tattoo artist, Jessie Knight.

Also on show is ‘The 100 Hands Project’ curated by Alice Snape, an innovative installation which creates a ‘sculptural map’ of contemporary British tattoo art using one hundred silicone arms, each tattooed with an original design by 100 of the leading tattoo artists working across the UK.

Other collaborators include Dr Gemma Angel, (Research Fellow, Cornell University and University College London) who provide an insight into the darker side of tattoo collections with a rare display of tattoing on preserved human skin from the Wellcome Collection’s medical skin collection.

Check out the exhibition details here.

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