Get Under The Skin Of London's Tattoo Industry

By Londonist Staff Last edited 33 months ago
Get Under The Skin Of London's Tattoo Industry
Photo by Kate Berry

People have been getting tattoos done in London since at least the 17th century, and by the late 1880s, the first professional tattooist, Sutherland Macdonald, was making a living in the capital. Now, an exhibition at Museum of London celebrates this most personal of arts.

Tattoo London — which runs from 29 January-8 May — delves into the history of London's tattoo pioneers, by way of historic photos and interviews.

The exhibition also calls on the expertise of four of London’s most prominent contemporary tattoo artists and their studios — Lal Hardy at New Wave, Alex Binnie at Into You, Claudia de Sabe at Seven Doors and Mo Coppoletta at The Family Business. Each will give an insight into their working lives through original commissions.

And visitors can watch a new short film about what it's like to be a tattooist in London.

Jen Kavanagh, curator for Tattoo London at the Museum of London, said: "We hope that this exhibition will appeal to existing and new visitors to the museum, offering them a rare glimpse into the fascinating life of a tattooist in the capital."

Tattoo London runs from 29 January-8 May at the Museum of London. Admission is free. A special evening event, with a talk by tattoo historian Matt Lodder, takes place at the museum on 22 February (tickets £10).

Last Updated 14 January 2016