The Tattooed Lady

2015



Commissioned for HOME's opening exhibition, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, The Tattooed Lady explores themes of heartbreak, break ups and the dark side of the funfair.

Inspired by tattooed performers of the 1900's this work takes on the form of an end of the pier penny arcade machine from the same era. The machine dispenses tattoo transfers of four designs, each one based on true stories of love tattoo regret.

Find out more about this project on my blog

Photo by Simon Liddiard

The Tattooed Lady

The lady is inspired by the era between art noveau and art deco and the fairground styles of the time.

See how she got painted on my blog

Photo by Simon Liddiard

The Tattooed Lady

Turn the handle, get your tattoo!

Photo by Simon Liddiard

The Tattooed Lady

Made from an old wardrobe the machine uses details from the original piece of furniture.

See how the machine got made on my blog

Photo by Simon Liddiard

The Tattooed Lady

Dead Squid tattoo transfer design. The story printed on the back is as follows:

The One that I thought was The One but was not The One and I took a trip to Scarborough. Upon arrival, we immediately decided to get matching tattoos of a > shape on our hands from a dodgy seaside inker. When you put them together it made a ><, which was cute until we realised it made our fingers look like the tentacles of a dead squid. Our relationship is as dead as said squid, and now everyone thinks I've got some weird heart etched on me. Annoyingly, the ex's < is super crisp and nicely done. Always do your research kids...

The Tattooed Lady

Fairy tattoo transfer design. The story on the back is as follows:

I started getting tats at the very young age of 16. Stupid. I regret all of them and am in the process of getting them removed. My first was done by my boyfriend of the time. I got a fairy on my lower stomach. Pregnancy, weight gain, and gravity have beaten her up pretty bad over the years. She lasted much longer than the relationship.

The Tattooed Lady

Forever Ink tattoo transfer design. The story on the back is as follows:

Everyone was doing it; crosses, skulls, initials, the whole school was getting it done. It was my mate’s big sister who I had a bit of thing for who said she’d do it for me. Everybody was inking everybody in the mid 80’s. We used to use Indian Ink and a large sewing needle. We’d thread the needle and wrap the cotton around it so it acted as a reservoir for the ink when you pushed it into the skin.
I basically let her do it because she had boobs.

The Tattooed Lady

Swallow tattoo transfer design. The story on the back is as follows:

I have two American Classic style swallows on my shoulders that I got as soon as I was legally allowed. At the time I went with an ex boyfriend, who was covered in tattoos, and was too nervous to explain the positioning wasn't quite where I wanted them. This was five years ago, and now due to shoddy needle work and my nervousness the lines have spread, leaving them looking sloppy, and because of their positioning they are quite hard to cover. I've since had two more tattoos, and feel these ones were a massive mistake. Similarly I get a lot of "have you got swallows cus you swallow" when I'm out, this makes me feel very uncomfortable.

The Tattooed Lady

On the opening night gallery staff were on hand to apply the tattoo transfers with water and soft cloths

Photo by Chris Payne

The Tattooed Lady

Tattoos applied, these transfers last for up to three days

Photo by Chris Payne

The Tattooed Lady

Photo by Chris Payne