Category: News

Documentaries: Making a Murderer

Alexandra Langston is a creative copywriter, editor, and part-time blogger, living and working in Qatar. In this post Alex talks about the Making a Murderer series… 

Over Christmas, like a lot of people, I plummeted into the Netflix Making a Murderer vortex with wilful abandon. Living in the Middle East, I had heard a few grumbles about the series on the internet, but was otherwise unaware of details; in retrospect, blissfully unaware.
About a year ago, I delved similarly head-long into a series of documentaries about the West Memphis Three – three Arkansas teenage boys who in 1994 were found guilty of the murders of three younger boys. Two were sentenced to life in prison, whilst the perceived ringleader was sentenced to death.

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The murder, trial, and media coverage were all clouded by the so-called ‘Satanic Panic’ that pervaded the US for much of the early 90s. Wearing black, listening to heavy metal, and being interested in belief systems beyond the typical Christianity of the Deep South, meant a guilty verdict was more or less guaranteed. If it wasn’t for film makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky capturing proceedings, that would have been that for the boys.

Fortunately, after the first film aired in 1996 interest in the case built, and over the next fifteen years the tireless support of the public (and some celebrities) led to new DNA evidence. In 2011 the possibility of a re-trial that would potentially embarrass the state led to an unusual plea deal; all three men were freed, but the state maintained their guilt.
I watched in absolute horror and astonishment, feeling elated at their release and total disgust at the injustice of the state’s lack of culpability. Overall though, I felt that this scenario had to be an anomaly, a one off. I was very wrong.

Enter Making a Murderer. In 1985, Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, and spent eighteen years in prison before being fully exonerated by new DNA evidence. Two years after his release, and on the eve of a multi-million dollar settlement from Manitowoc County, Avery was arrested and then tried and convicted of the murder of a young woman. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also sentenced to life in prison for his part in the killing.

The confluence of a looming settlement that would have financially crippled the county, and the investigation by officers and prosecutors that had also played a part of the original wrongful conviction, is at the centre of the ten hour series. The documentary raises questions about the trustworthiness of the investigation and its key players, but it has also seen a heavy backlash that claims a lack of impartiality from documentarians Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. The two women are also accused of leaving out important trial evidence in order to more convincingly paint the defendants as innocent.

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What is clear is that for both men the investigations and trial were not entirely unbiased, and whichever side of the fence you come down on, the takeaway should be that we take a long hard look at our justice systems. In the twenty years since the West Memphis Three case came to prominence, how many more people have not received adequate defences due to a lack of money and resources?
Questionable journalism aside, it is important that these kinds of documentaries continue to be made – that we keep asking questions – because it is not just in the US that you can find yourself in an unwinnable situation.

Interview with Myra Brodsky

Editor Alice Snape recently got tattooed by Berlin-based Myra Brodsky, 27, aka spinsterette on Instagram, while she was guesting at Seven Doors in east London. Alice couldn’t resist asking Myra some questions while under the needle… 

Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London

 

“Myra’s work is heavily influenced by art nouveau and the Victorian age – the periods of art that I am drawn to… so I couldn’t resist getting a tattoo by her while she was over in London. I picked a moon and hand from her flash, and conducted this interview while I was getting tattooed… just imaging the buzz of the needle as you read.”

Alice: “How long have been a tattoo artist for?”
Myra:
“I started tattooing in late 2008, after studying visual communications at university. My parents were always very anti me going into tattooing, but my father has now passed away and my mother has moved to Spain, so they are not part of my life anymore and are not aware of what I do. My parents were very religious and this is probably where their attitude came from. I was born and raised in a very conservative, jewish family.”

Design tattooed on Alice from Myra's flash Design tattooed on Alice from Myra’s flash

 

Alice: “What do you think drew you to tattoos then?”
Myra:
“It was really actually by accident that I came into tattooing. I never planned it, I never had the wish to become a tattoo artist. My best friend started to tattoo, and I thought that seemed kinda fun. So she immersed me into the tattoo world, she had all the gear at home, and I started tattooing too. At first, just for fun – it was never big business or starting something serious. I did shitty little tattoos on my own body, but never thought it was something I could make a living from… I thought my parents would hate me and turn against me.”

“What did you do for a job at this time?”
“I worked for an ad agency. I found it really boring.”

“When did you start tattooing properly, as a job?”
“I actually started tattooing when I was still at university too, I used to have to do 12-hour days. I was still working at that agency and attending university and I was already tattooing. It was a lot to do. I found it easy as I didn’t have the wish to meet up with friends in my spare time. I was dedicated to my work, being productive was great.  Now I need tattooing for my living.”

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“Do you think that is something that is hard being a tattoo artist? Would you want to change it or be something else?”
“Yeah. I mean being self employed is hard in general. I hate that. I hate doing my taxes, I am really bad at counting, I cannot count at all! If I had the choice I would be a magician. My father comes from the casino business and when my sister and I were still young we used to go to Las Vegas pretty often. My sister and I grew up watching shows like David Copperfield. I admire those magic shows, even if it is an illusion, I love it. I wish I could do that.”

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“Do you think that has a big impact on your work?”
“Totally. I love all that imagery surrounding all those magic things. I also believe in magic powers. Whenever I have a problem I call my fortune teller instead of going to the doctor. They tell me different things, I can ask her anything. When I was planning my tour through Europe I asked her which shops would accept me. In London, she said there would be a chance that only one shop would accept me and now I am here at Seven Doors.”

“Do you plan to live in New York?”
“I want to move there and work Red Rocket tattoo in Midtown.”

“Do you think that is part of the beauty of being a tattoo artist being able to travel around?”
“I think it is a good thing. I know a lot of people who aren’t into travelling, but I am because I don’t really feel comfortable in just one place. I get bored so easily. I think it is a fun game  to have to challenge yourself to act like a local in so many cities. I like that kind of game.”

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“What is your favourite city you have been to so far?”
“New York. I like London too. You cannot really describe New York in words. It is just perfect.”

“How would you describe your style as a tattooist?”
“I would say I  don’t really want to put a name on that. I can only say what inspires me and what I use as reference. These are actually images from all of the great eras from the past, in art history. I know a lot about art history. Most of the things I take are from art nouveau and the Victorian age and Edwardian age. Art Deco is also nice but it is too geometric for my kind of thing. I rather like organic decoration elements, because you can always take them and change them for every part of the body.”

“Do  you like doing bigger pieces as well?”
“I prefer doing bigger pieces. But I don’t get to do many of them, I think because I’m not in one place all the time.”

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“What would be your favourite thing to tattoo? If you could do anything on someone’s back what would you do?”
“I think it would be a scene out of a classic novel or play. Maybe a play by Shakespeare or a novel by Kafka. Anything that is already existing, that I could adapt. That is what I like, because I think it is timeless.”

“How would you like your style to progress in the future?”
“I am planning on starting more big pieces with more detail, more history behind them. More details and meaning in general.”

IMG_1800 Myra at Seven Doors

 

To view more of Myra’s work and to see where she will be working next, follow her on Instagram @spinsterette

 

Transformation tattoo for Transgender son

Steve Peace a Canadian tattooist has updated his wife’s tattoo of their children to reflect the new gender of her eldest son Ace. The original tattoo was done over 10 years ago, and showed a portrait of their children, Elliot, Hamish and Ace- when Ace was living as a girl.

Steve has now changed the tattoo of a young girl wearing a pink dress and pigtails into a boy wearing a blue shirt and shorts to reflect Ace who is a transgender teen. The tattoo transformation was kept as a surprise for Ace and shows how much they support his decision to be who he really is.

In an interview with Global News Steve said:

I think it really reaffirmed, for him, that we believed him […] Parents often sit in the closet themselves. This was putting it out there. Parents need to really support their kids in these situations. I thought he was happy before, but no — he’s happier now. It’s crazy. He smiles all the time.

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Tattoo by Steve

Watch the video below to hear Ace’s story:

Skin Deep – an exhibition featuring photographic portraits of male models

Cheshire born and now London based, photographer Danny Baldwin explored a range of art forms, from drawing and drama to music and modelling, before finding his niche as a photographer. It was actually while modelling that Danny discovered a world where his creative vision could be channelled by flipping sides from in front to behind the lens. Influenced by fashion and counter-culture, Danny’s style mixes colours, tones and textures, and emphasises the power of beauty and shapes.
In his new exhibition, Skin Deep, Danny  documents a seismic mood change within the fashion industry that has seen agencies shift from representing only models with no tattoos, or those that are easily hidden, to building entire campaigns around elaborately inked individuals. Encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity, Skin Deep features 100 black and white nude images of professional tattooed male models shot against a stark black, signature background.
We found out more in this interview with Danny…



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> What attracted you to photographing tattooed models? Why?

The underlying message is to encourage acceptance and freedom of expression, Skin Deep has been created over the course of a year to show the versatility of beauty and ink, and is something I could relate to myself. I needed it to be something that I understood, had knowledge about and was part of my life – and I wanted to represent and celebrate the rise of the tattooed model and its acceptance, slowly, into the fashion industry.

RICKIHALL@NEVS RICKIHALL@NEVS

 

> What is your background? Have you always photographed people?

Yes I did a general photography course at college in Cheshire when I first started as a photographer and this covered all types of photography, when I was doing landscapes etc i used to have imagine people there to be able to create the image. I decided very quickly one of the main reasons I am a photographer is because of the people, so I continued my studies at London College of Fashion studying fashion photography

> Why only men in the project?

I decided when I started this as a personal project that It had to be relatable to myself, it had to say something from me and be pure to my vision and I felt – as a tattooed male myself – I would be able to better understand the body of the male and their process of thought. I want to represent the male models in a way I haven’t always been able to represent them due to client limitations.

MATTHEWMORRIS@BMA MATTHEWMORRIS@BMA

 

> The portraits are in black and white… is there a particular reason for this?

Due to the scale of the project and the timeframe of over a year of shooting, I wanted to create something distinctive that showcased the models and their tattoos in a consistent way and I felt this was the best way to do it. I shoot a lot in black and white as I love shape, line, texture and movement and really feel this can be explored a lot deeper with a black and white image.

BUD&AIDEN@BODYLONDON BUD&AIDEN@BODYLONDON

 

Are you tattooed yourself?

I do have a collection of tattoos and plan to have more done in the future months and years. I have my left top arm , finger, both feet, all my toes and most recently I have had the title of this project “skin deep” on my inner lip which was done at One By One tattoo studio in soho, London. All my tattoos have a deep rooted and significant meaning to me and are connected to parts of my job as a photographer, people who have impacted my life and the evolution of myself. They look quite macabre but they are more my own personal affirmations.


What are your hopes for this exhibition? How many portraits does it include?

The exhibition will feature over 100 portraits of the selected agency signed male models, which I hope will showcase their diversity. I want to show a wider audience something that is visually stimulating and celebrates how these people are breaking the mould. They are being true to themselves in an elite industry and expressing who they are through the medium of tattooing, which I think is an incredible art form and I don’t know why it has taken so long for the two worlds of tattooing and fashion to collide and be more accepted in the mainstream. I think the bigger picture is about encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity.

Danny has just reached his fundraising target on Kickstarter, so it looks like there will be a physical exhibition of Skin Deep in London next year. Look out for updates from @thingsandink and @skindeeplondon.

Covered: a photo project where tattooed people bare all

Covered: a portrait project of tattooed people. This beautiful photographic project illustrates the variety of people who get tattooed and the vastly different reasons why…

Photographs by Alan Powdrill | Interviews by  | Feature from theguardian.com

Woman tattoos underneath

Victoria Clarke, 37, Coventry
My tattoos are part of who I am, and I’ll always love my bodysuit, now and when I’m 80. The respect and love I get for what I look like is what it’s all about.

Woman tattoos underneath 2

Man tattoo underneath

Graham Platts, 58, Cleethorpes
I was 51 when I started getting tattoos. I wanted one in my teens but my parents wouldn’t have agreed. About 10 years ago, I stopped smoking and thought, “I ought to do something with the money, to have something to show for it”; I decided to get a tattoo. I got one on my right arm. Then I got one on my left arm. Then on my right leg, then my left leg – it just escalated. I’ve replaced one addiction with another, but a healthier one. When I see a gap, I want it filled. Once I’m covered, I think I’ll start saving for a nice holiday.

Man tattoo underneath 2

Tattoo underneath

Izzy Nash, 48, Maidstone
I was 16 when I got my first tattoo, a tiny rose on my thigh. For me, it’s about being different. You’re never naked, because you’re covered in artwork. My bottom is always the talking point: I’m forever showing people.
I’m talking with my tattooist in Brighton about doing my neck and my legs – then there’s only my stomach left. My kids love it. I’ve told them, “When I die, you need to skin me, dry me out and put me on the wall.”

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Tattoos underneath photo

Alex Coates, 49, Whitby
When I started getting tattooed, over 30 years ago, it was frowned upon. It was the skinhead era, and I saw a guy with two swallows on his hands. That was it: I wanted them, too. My mum wasn’t happy. Now I’m completely covered. Recently, I asked my mother if she’d mind if I got some little tattoos on my face: a cross and a few dots. She said, “As long as they’re not too big.” I had it done that day. I woke up the next day, and thought, “What have I done?” But everyone said they looked cool and now I love them.

Tattoos underneath photo 2

Drew tattoos

Drew Beckett, 32, London
When I was 27, my hair fell out. I have total alopecia. I decided to reinvent myself so that the first thing people see is my tattoos, rather than the fact I have no eyebrows. I thought, “I’m a blank slate.” I started, embarrassingly, with a 90s tribal dragon on my stomach. I was 18, and thought it was the coolest thing ever. The artist was a Goldsmiths graduate called Thomas Hooper, who is now an internationally famous tattooist. I’m a civil servant; I check with my boss before I get a tattoo. If I was told no, that would be OK. It’s good manners to ask.

Drew tattoos 2

You can view more portraits on photographer Alan’s website, the Covered portrait exhibition of tattooed people will open on 11 November 2015 at Mother, in east London, RSVP alan@alanpowdrill.com.

The Horror Issue starring Emily Alice Johnston

She’s recently moved to London to work at Into You, and now tattoo artist Emily Alice Johnston, 26, is star of The Horror Issue in a photoshoot that emulates the essence of one of her bad-ass babe drawings come to life… 


The Horror Issue Cover Emily Alice Johnston

Issue 12 of Things&Ink magazine features the full set of ‘Femme Fatale’ images and an interview with Emily about how she got into the tattoo world, her favourite horror films and how she felt about the photoshoot we created for her… order your copy now from our website: thingsandink.com

PHOTOGRAPHY » PROKOPIOUSET AND PROP DESIGN » PANAGIOTIS POIMENIDIS | MAKE-UP » KEELY REICHARDT using Nars cosmetics | STYLING » LUKE ANDERSON  | HAIR AND WIG DESIGN » DORIS DESIGNS | CLOTHING » supplied by FLORENCE DRUART florence@torturegardenclothing.com |  Swarovski X McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ claw by Dennis Song | Shoes by Natacha Marro | JOROGUMO corset, Torture Garden Clothing

Front and back horror issue

Alzheimer’s: A tattoo to remember

Rita

58-year-old Rita Stonecipher has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a disease which damages the brain leading to memory loss, difficulties with thinking, language and problem-solving. As Rita experienced gaps in her memories and trouble completing sentences she decided that it was time to immortalise her son, Tanner, with a portrait tattoo.

Tanner fought in Iraq and on returning home suffered post traumatic stress, he later committed suicide after running into trouble with the law and turning to alcohol for comfort. Rita hopes that the tattoo will keep the memory of her son alive long after she forgets his name

Watch the video below to hear Rita’s story:

Image from Times Free Press

Flavia Carvalho: Transforming Scars

Brazilian tattooist Flavia Carvalho has been tattooing women who have encountered domestic violence or have had mastectomies. The marks caused by abuse and cancer are there for life, even though the scars will fade, the memories will always be visible.

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Flavia is transforming these scars into beautiful tattoos, for free, so that women can reclaim their bodies, find closure and love themselves again. Flavia’s project has been running for over two years , and is named “A Pele da Flor” which translates as The Skin of the Flower, taken from the Portuguese expression “A flor da pele” meaning deeper than skin. Flavia explains that “women are like flowers and deserve to have our skin protected and embellished.”

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Speaking to the Huffington Post Flavia explains how the project started:

It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with an switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me. I was suddenly struck by the idea of providing free tattoos to women who were left with scars following domestic violence or mastectomies. Each tattoo would act as an instrument for empowerment and a self-esteem booster.

scar

 

Images and quotes Huffington Post

Tattoo love story – The Wedding

Almost two years ago, we launched a competition to find the ultimate tattooed love story, we wanted to know if your relationship was linked by ink… (Original comp here.) The winners would receive wedding photography, by Eclection Photography, for their big day.

And the winners were Roxanne And Greg (read their story in this blog post with the other two finalists)… our Things & Ink Tattoo Love Story Wedding Competition Winners. And on Wednesday of this week, they made their commitments to each other in Ink, by getting their wedding fingers tattooed by Alexis Camburn at her studio  Two Snakes Tattoo in Hastings.

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Greg and Roxanne designed the ring/tattoo together. The star and the moon simply symbolising that they are each other’s moon and stars. The four dots represent Roxanne, Greg and their two cats (cute!).  Who, btw, will be at the wedding… in the form of cardboard cut outs!

Roxanne was first in the chair and Greg joked: “at least I know the odds of you turning up are pretty high now.” Greg and Roxanne both had their wedding bands tattooed within 30 minutes.  Less time than your average wedding!

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We are all very excited over here at Things &Ink HQ,  the wedding of Roxanne and Greg – the Things & Ink Tattoo Love Story Wedding Competition Winners.  They will tie the knot officially today (Friday 28 August) in East London…

Tattoo artist Alexis does lots of wedding band tattoos and people like the freedom to create what they like as opposed to being limited by what your can wear as a ring.  She has tattoeed couple’s  dates,  initials and also made wedding rings from simple bands to extensive patterns.

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We will keep you all updated on the big day!

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Miniature Ink II

Miniature Ink II kewpie by Jondix sneak peek

ATOMICA GALLERY AND THINGS&INK MAGAZINE PRESENT:
‘MINIATURE INK II’
OPENING NIGHT: WEDNESDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 2015

Atomica Gallery and Things&Ink magazine are delighted to announce Miniature Ink II, the second exhibition featuring miniature original artworks from over 100 of the world’s leading tattoo artists.

Join us for the opening reception on Wednesday 23rd September (exact location to be revealed soon) with complimentary drinks kindly provided by Sailor Jerry.

Rsvp@atomicagallery.com, or attend our Facebook event.

There will be no preview list of artworks, first come first served!

MORE INFORMATION AND ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON…

Have a look at last year’s celebrity and cocktail filled Miniature Ink opening night.

Keep an eye on the #MinitaureInk and #MiniatureInkII hashtags for more kewpie capers.

Check out what some of the artists have been up to on Instagram…

@iris_lys

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@lalhardy

lah@sadeeglover

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 Top image by James Stittle