Tattoo Me

 23 April to 20 May 2016

Faye Claridge

Andrew Cooke

Louise Gardiner

Helen McDonnell

Robert Martin

Karen Nicol

Tattoo Me presents artists using tattoo artwork and culture as the inspiration for their work. In response to an open call from the gallery, six makers from across the UK were selected, working in a range of materials including textiles, ceramic and wood.

Opening reception Saturday 23 April, all welcome

2pm talks from Louise Gardiner & Helen McDonnell

3pm demo with Andrew Cooke

Interactive clay-making drop in workshops with Andrew Cooke

Free, family-friendly session using press moulding, to make textures and shapes

Saturday 30 April 2-4pm

Saturday 7 May 2-4pm

Saturday 14 May 2-4pm

Faye Claridge produces contemporary textile works that reference traditions, believing our current and future identities are shaped by ideas about the past. The work explores how portraiture can show power and question the sitter’s place in current and past society. Her work questions how the individual portrays a symbol of themselves and their national identity, asking us to confront the ethics of identity, stereotypes, race and representation.

With a past career in car body repairs local artist Andrew Cooke now uses ceramics to fuse his lifelong love of biker culture and classic vehicles (like his 50’s Chevy) with his appreciation of older tattoo styles and his self-confessed escapist fantasies.

Louise Gardiner’s quilt, commissioned by Liberty of London, takes Victorian maritime tattoos as its theme, inspired by the fact that the famous Tudor-style department store was built using timbers from two naval ships, HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan.

Belfast-based Helen McDonnell works from found objects and experiments with different mediums to explore the art of tattooing as a wider form of inscription. Her piece here references the sailors’ art of scrimshaw.

Fascinated by the popularity of tattoo culture, Robert Martin’s dolls are both fascinating and horrible, challenging ideas of cute within shifting cultural boundaries.

Textile artist Karen Nicol delights in the irony of clothing her animals in couture skins in response to humans dressing themselves in animal pelts. In doing so, she pushes embellishment beyond the realms of couture into art.