On the 11th September Knowle West Media Centre in south Bristol launched its new 'I Will Always Have You' exhibition. The event was well attended and included live and close-up tattooing, interactive tattoo installations and a talk by Dr John Troyer from the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath exploring the history and cultural role of memorial tattoos. - See more at: http://kwmc.org.uk/projects/iwillalways/#sthash.quCyjxTR.dpuf
I went down there to see it for myself and rather shamelessly took of my shirt and my ink was there for all to see. The centre had talked to many people from the local community and asked them to be photographed and be interviewed. Some of their stories were hung in the main gallery, where the event took place.
Sonia wasn't at all bothered by having visible tattoos. Getting extensive coverage all escalated from the time her then eleven year old son six years ago had a brain haemorrhage and spent months and months at Frenchay hospital. At the time she only had two tattoos. She then had a guardian angel tattooed on her back to protect them all. She now has a full back piece. About a year later they had the all clear but they had to accept his personality had changed and it was then she then had the green man on her leg. Happily her son has made excellent progress and can now even play electric guitar.
She has a witch on her sleeve and says it was nature that saved her boy and as she is a pagan so her sleeves take everything from those concepts and influences.
She has negative reactions to her visible tattoos especially in Spain, where they say she has mutilated her body.
Sonia won't get her face done but everywhere else is fine and she plans eventually to have a full body suit along with more piercings.
She is a professional body piercer and works at "Piercings 4 U" at the "Park" in Daventry Road, nearby.
Chantelle has three young children and is fully employed looking after them but is studying neuroscience and in particular the growing of healthy brains in the first year of life.
Why does she have so many tattoos and especially many visible ones included? She decided she wanted to wear more of her emotions after she suffered depression after her life was born and she learned more about her feelings and became more brave about life. "If that's how I am feeling then and it involves tattoos then I will get them and feel confident about myself."
She says "I don't know where my life will take me but if there are events that inspire to get a tattoo and tug at my heart strings then I will." Most of them were acquired in the last four years.
I've gone beyond the point of no return. I like what I see in the mirror, I like the colours and what I see. I like forties and fifties glamour. I never go out without my red lipstick, hairstyle and tattoos! The children love it.
Most of my family have tattoos except my Dad. If people don't like them I don't mind, I get them for myself.
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The work in my groin and pubic area has been completed. Years ago Louis Molloy did the central figure in this picture but avoided going all the way. Now Ben has tattooed a circle of clouds all around the image that goes as far as it can without inking my genitalia. This completes the work on my torso. Added to that Ben has worked some hair detail on a much older art nouveau image originally tattooed in the nineties. Months ago Ben covered the black hair with brown. Today he gave the hair some texture. To mark the end of this phase Ben took some pictures of my whole body.
I went to the Newport, South Wales convention yesterday. Before getting there, I spent two and half hours with a face painter who gave me fake face and neck tattoos. It was painstaking but very pleasant and enjoyable. Sam Fisher, the face painter from Longwell in Bristol, did a wonderful job and the reaction I got at Newport was quite electric. All tattooists spotted the fakery immediately and most heavily tattooed people didn't take long either. But many were unsure. One way or another I caught the eye and it led to many conversations with those attending the convention. It was an opportunity to talk about face tattoos and how far people were willing to go. I was struck that a significant proportion of those there with some face tattoos were women. I'm not sure, but maybe more than half. One young woman I photographed, but unfortunately can't name check, has at her tender age advanced very far on neck and face. She said she may well take it furt