Portsmouth dockyard to welcome exhibition on history of British tattoos

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AN EXHIBITION on the history of British tattooing will be stopping in Portsmouth as part of a tour.

The display showcases a range of cutting-edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors of body art.

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is the largest gathering of real objects and original artwork in the UK with more than 400 artworks, photographs and artefacts.

Developed by the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, the exhibition will be at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, this summer and for the remainder of the year.

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

It also 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 of seeing artwork and artefacts not otherwise on public display.

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.

One of the main displays is the 100 Hands.

A statement explaining the display said: ‘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, curated by Alice Snape of Things and Ink magazine, is based around 100 silicone arms, each tattooed with an original design by 100 of the leading tattoo artists working across the UK.’

The event will be in Portsmouth from June 25 until December 30 between 10am and 4pm.

For more information or to buy tickets visit nmrn.org.uk/news-events/events/tattoo-british-tattoo-art-revealed.