About My Mates’ Tatts
First up let me admit something to you: I am not a tattoo enthusiast.
A statement like that will probably seem like a paradox given that this entire project is dedicated to the body art of my friends.
It will also appear incredibly contradictory given that I myself have a tattoo scratched deeply into the flesh of my arm.*
But if truth must be told, many of the tattoos I see on the general populace utterly repulse me. Twee faeries, overblown phrases of rhetoric (“Such is life”, anyone?) and blood-dripping Gothic images tempt no enthusiasm from me.
However, brand a tattoo on someone I like and I am inexplicably drawn to their body markings. My friends’ tattoos electrify and captivate me. I want to know everything about their tattoos: what does it mean, how long have you had it for, where is the design from, was the bloodletting some form of curative process?
I want to run my fingers over their skin and touch their tattoos to try and understand more about that particular friend, and perhaps get closer to them momentarily. I want to remember their tattoos because these etchings are just as much a part of who my friends are as the sound of their laughter or the colour of their eyes.
The idea for My Mates’ Tatts was born from this very enchantment. Through capturing images of my friends’ and loved ones’ tattoos in their own spaces—their home, their places of work, their studios and so on—I hope to not only pay tribute to who they are as people, but to provide a visual homage to their indelible body markings.
To all my friends and family who modelled for me for this project, I offer you my most profound gratitude, deepest reverence and love for you all.
* My arm. My tattoo. A single word as a way of honouring myself after a particularly unpleasant period in my life. An aide-memoire that I can triumph over the many impediments in life; a reminder of the person who I want to be absolutely, and a life long pledge to myself that I will always try to be that person.