Approximately one in five people in the UK have tattoos.
From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout history.
This ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing features cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors to tell a story that challenges long-standing myths and preconceptions.
Showcasing the work of major tattoo artists, this is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK and celebrates the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing as an art form.
This exhibition features items from three of the most important private collections of tattoo material in Britain – belonging to Paul ‘Rambo’ Ramsbottom, Willie Robinson, and Jimmie Skuse. They provide a rare opportunity to see original artwork and artefacts not otherwise on public display.
Delving into previously unseen private archives that reveal hidden histories, the exhibition includes the incredible story of Britain’s pioneering female tattoo artist, Jessie Knight.
The exhibition features over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts.
Exhibition contains some images of nudity.
Share your tattoo story with us
We’d like to hear from you! Tell us the stories of your tattoos and make our exhibition truly representative of Bristol’s rich tattoo culture.
We’ll be featuring our favourite stories in the exhibition itself and on our social media channels.