Through my research and development I have discovered that I want to go on to combine the ideas of isolating body parts and using words with images to reflect my experiences with people in the tattoo industry.
When I was tattooing I was asked to copy the handwriting of someones child that had passed away. I would like to create a series of paintings with the powerful messages behind some of the tattoos I had the privilege to do.
Both field projects have highly influenced my work in subject. The first field trip I atended was Things behind the sun where I went to stay in a hostel in Pembrokeshire to study the landscape. I chose to go on this trip as it was in contrast to the work I was doing in subject at the time and the work I created that summer, which was primarily focused on studying cities I had visited over the summer and I hoped it would give me a fresh mind set and broaden my ideas. I had been concentrating on patterns and textures of my surroundings in the city and abstracting them. I found it challenging and interesting adapting these skills to the natural environment of the Pembrokeshire landscape. I continued to collect shapes and textures that reflected the environment. In the workshops I began to learn how to make depth and perspective unclear and create the landscape as an object, which became my primary interest which I carried through into my subject work.
I decided to move away from studying landscape after studying it in first term. Before going to Morocco, out of my own interest, I was studying ways to convey the human form. Developing my child-like drawing style had allowed me to break conventional ideologies of the human form and express myself. I decided I was going to use what I had learned in order to be able to capture the busy lifestyle of Marrakech which was in contrast to the quiet, calm Pembrokeshire setting. I wanted to carry on developing this painting style to achieve a unique visual language in my art. Both field projects have been a lot to do with developing myself as an artist and one day I hope that people will be able to identify my work without having to look at the signature.
I focused on different aspects in each field trip and treated them as very separate projects, focusing on how I can reflect the landscape in Pembrokeshire, using natural colours and focusing on my interactions with people in Morocco and its vibrant colours. Recently I have begun to combine these two very different experiences in my paintings which has helped with creating a visual language in my work that is unique and personal to me. I believe these field trips were very beneficial to developing myself as an artist. My work focuses around these two unique and diverse experiences and I believe they were vital in order to inspire my subject work. The field trips have inspired me to carry on gaining new experiences and travel as much as I can to create art. Recently I have adapted what I have learnt in field and I intend to continue to reflect my current environment of the city with shape texture while combining this with my interactions with the people around me to develop my painting style.
When I was studying the landscape in Pembrokeshire, I collected shapes and patterns to use in my paintings. I have done a similar process here with childlike forms. Considering isolating body parts. Ive revisited previous painting techniques I’ve learned in both the field trips and now have begun to combine everything I have learnt to develop my own unique painting style. Using background perspectives from the landscape feel trip and the human form from experiences with the moroccan people.
while touching on alternative means such as sculpture, photography and conceptual ideas and challenging what I want to achieve from every angle I can think of, I still primarily consider myself a painter. I continue to paint scenes from memory of my experiences in the tattoo industry.
Encouraging expression and allowing the tattoo to be subject to experimentation which is in contrast to the tattoo industries strict rules and regulations and precise artworks. Ive tackled this issue in my current topic previously by making existing tattoo styles painterly with expression and experimentation.
Collectively my work is about what you dream to be as a child – looking back to where my artistic journey began and holding on to that idea – being rebellious and focusing on stigmatised art forms.
Once removed from the skin, what does the tattoo become?
Here I’ve created a tattoo removal machine – represents regret that can relate to both the tattooed and tattooer.
The sculpture of a tattoo machine is made from found materials – a reoccurring theme/interest that has run throughout my work. It could be received by the viewer as a historical artefact – decay – represents the past and brings up how the industry is changing – possibly moving on to high art.
Using words instead of images to avoid summing up the tattoos history in a particular style. From collecting tattoo business cards I came across a tattoo artist that uses humour on his cards to grab the customers attention. Ive taken one of the things he has written on his cards and used it here while taking inspiration from Richard Prince and David Shringley. Ive also touched on writing tattoo confessions on interesting facts about myself making my work personal.
During my research into raising the status of the tattoo I came across one issue of presenting the tattoo in a gallery- other than using photography. Thinking beyond photography I have attempted to represent the tattoo as an object by isolating body parts for the purpose of display. This has been a challenging aspect, to think of how I can capture everything the tattoo is and represents and display it. Taking the tattoo out of context raises further issues to do with tattoo styles and the link to the human skin.
With the popularity of tattoos today there will be a large audience that can relate to these images in one way or another. The viewer may gain a sense of nostalgia. They may remember their first tattoo or person that tattooed them, perhaps remember someone they’ve tattooed and created a unique bond with. Do they personally know everyone that has ever tattooed them (like I do), should they even know? A sense of regret? These images represent something personal and private, possibly an act between two people as intimate as an sexual act.