A major exhibition showcasing the hidden world of tattoo art is now underway, with lifelike displays and live-inking among the attractions. Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is being brought to Rozelle House in Ayr by South Ayrshire Council. The exhibition runs until Sunday, 3 March, 2019.
Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is curated by The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, an independent Museum based in Falmouth. Bringing the exhibition to Scotland is a major coup for Rozelle with the event showcasing the work of major tattoo artists from George Burchett, via the Bristol Tattoo Club, to Alex Binnie and Lal Hardy making this this is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK.
It's estimated that about one in five of the UK population is tattooed, with the figure rising to one in three for young adults. And yet, while the visibility of tattooing in contemporary culture may feel like something new, tattoos and tattoo art have always held a significant place in Britain's history and historical imagination.
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio holder for Economy and Culture said the exhibition promises to be a real eye opener, "With lifelike exhibits, a fascinating social history and live tattooing, this is a truly unique exhibition that people won't have seen anything quite like before.
"We're proud to have brought British Tattoo Art Revealed to Rozelle House with the event making the case for South Ayrshire as a go-to cultural destination, helping to drive tourism, and supporting the local economy.
"I'd like to thank everyone who's worked so hard behind the scenes to bring these exhibits to life and I'm sure that anyone who travels to see the exhibition won't be disappointed."
Among the 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts is the striking '100 Hands Project', curated by Alice Snape of 'Things and Ink' magazine. This showcases one hundred lifelike silicone arms, each tattooed with an original design by 100 of the leading tattoo artists working across the UK.
Derryth Ridge, Co-curator from the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, said the exhibition was for everyone, "If you like tattoos, you'll love it; if you like social history, it's for you; but I also hope that people that don't think this is for them come along too, as we might just change your mind.
"Tattooing is an art form; it's beautiful and spellbinding; it's people's stories and I find that really captivating and I hope that people in Scotland do to."
South Ayrshire Council are also working with Sean Cahill and Gordon Killin of the Petal Faced Gypsy Tattoo Studio in Prestwick, who will be showcasing their talent and skills live, in a specially built see-through studio to accompany the exhibition.
Full price tickets cost £7 per adult with the discounted rate of £5 available for young people aged 12-18 and for people claiming income related benefits. Entry for the under 12s is free. Tickets are available on the door at Rozelle House or from the Ayr Gaiety box office.