Tagged: Matt Lodder

Forever More The New Tattoo

Modern-day passion, tangible tradition, and striking creativity: trace how tattooing continues to evolve in the follow up to Forever.  


Art on the body is painful to acquire, arduous to own, and intimate to produce, and as such may be the best refection we have of the soul of modern life.

Matt Lodder, Preface


Forever More covers the best of the ever-changing contemporary tattoo underground. Bold tribal motifs and gritty stick and pokes bask in a resurgence alongside the fluidity of watercolours and the deviance of Art Brut. From traditional sessions in parlors to traveling artists, Forever More celebrates tattooing’s unsung heroes and contemporary celebrities.

Forever More tracks the scene’s inventiveness and originality as tattoos continue to emerge from subculture obscurity. Just as the needle infuses the skin with ink, the artists profiled infuse life into current tattoo culture. In a scene where artists travel the world, often organizing appointments exclusively via social media, tattooing can be a lifestyle and a way of life. Featuring Miriam Frank, Duncan X, David Schiesser, Grace Neutral, Fidjit, Isaiah Toothtaker, and many others, Forever More explores their unique stories and iconic work whilst creating a comprehensive narrative of this dynamic and enduring scene.



Sutherland Macdonald and George Burchett added to DNB

The new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds new biographies of 93 men and women active between the fourteenth and twentieth century. The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is the national record of men and women who’ve shaped all walks of British life, in the UK and overseas, from the Roman occupation to the 21st century.

lodderThe new edition includes the late-Victorian pioneers of professional tattooing, in an era when tattoos became popular among members of high society and royalty — as symbols of travel to the Far East. Both entries were written by art historian (and Things&Ink favourite) Dr Matt Lodder of the University of Essex (left). Here’s what he had to say: “It was a real honour to be asked to write entries on Burchett and Macdonald for the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, and to cement their places in the cultural history of this country. As key figures in the early decades of the professional tattoo industry in Britain, and as innovators respected around the world, both men have played a central role in establishing the huge importance of tattooing as part of our shared artistic heritage.”

 Here’s a snippet from the entries:

  • Sutherland Macdonald (1860-1942) began tattooing in the garrison town of Aldershot, Hampshire, as early as 1882. He was established as the first identifiable professional tattooist in England by 1889. In this year he first appeared in the London press as a fully-fledged (albeit part-time) tattooer to the general public, working out of the basement of the ornate Hamam Turkish Baths at 76 Jermyn Street—a street well known for its parade of gentlemen’s clubs and fashionable shops. He was employed as the bath’s superintendent, and undertook his tattooing out of hours.Macdonald claimed to have coined the term ‘tattooist’, a contraction of ‘tattoo artist’, to distinguish his practice from that of a mere ‘tattooer’, which he suggested associated his new profession too closely with the workaday business of a ‘plumber’ or a ‘bricklayer’. In 1894 the Post Office Directory for London created the category of ‘Tattooist’ specifically for him, under which Macdonald was the only entry for four years. Sutherland Macdonald continued working as a tattooist into his 70s. However, his pioneering career was posthumously obscured by his children who (on his death certificate) gave their father’s profession not as ‘tattooist’ but ‘Water Colour Artist’.


An example of Sutherland Macdonald’s work, 1897 (Alamy) 

  • George Burchett (1872–1953), was Macdonald’s ‘rival’ artist and emerged as Britain’s best-known tattooist, having first encountered the art form on a tour of Japan with the Royal Navy. Burchett made a good living producing finely rendered, beautifully detailed work that exceeded all his peers in terms of quality. Between 1914 and 1947 Burchett worked from a studio on Waterloo Road, London.Burchett became the most famous European tattoo artist of the twentieth century, appearing so often in newspapers and magazines that he became recognizable as the archetype of his profession. By the 1930s he had amassed a client list which reputedly included Alfonso XIII, the exiled king of Spain, and Frederik IX, the rough-hewn king of Denmark. His most notorious client was the former army officer Horace Ridler, who in 1927 asked Burchett to tattoo his entire body and face with broad black stripes and swirls. He was still working in 1952 at the age of 80, tattooing ten-bob dragons and indelible make-up in premises at 125 Waterloo Road.



Tattoo London at Museum of London

Tattoo London – 29 January – 8 May 2016

Find out how professional skin art made its way to the capital and get a look behind the scenes at four contemporary London tattoo studios. Tattooing in London has a long and rich history, dating back to a time before Captain Cook made his adventures to the Pacific. The exhibition Tattoo London, at the Museum of London, will offer insight into the history of professional tattooing in London as well as revealing life inside four contemporary tattoo studios in the capital.

Lal Hardy Tattoo London

Also on display will be newly commissioned artworks by tattooists from the featured studios: Lal Hardy at New Wave, Alex Binnie at Into You, Claudia de Sabe at Seven Doors and Mo Coppoletta at The Family Business.

Self Portrait as Jigoku Dayu by Claudia de Sabe, 2015 Self Portrait as Jigoku Dayu by Claudia de Sabe, 2015


The museum will stay open late for a special event, ‘Tattoo London: Under the Skin‘, on 22 February 2016.

Claudia de Sabe Tattoo London

For more information, go to museumoflondon.org.uk

Feminist Flash Day Sunday 31 May, start time 11am

Things&Ink and theFeminist Library present:

Sunday 31st May 2015
At: King of Hearts Tattoo Studio
137 New Cross Road, London SE14 5DJ

 Things&Ink magazine and the Feminist Library are delighted to announce Feminist Flash Day, a day celebrating feminism, females and tattoos. The day is being held to raise funds for the Feminist Library, with the aim to buy a new building to house their growing collection.

The day will bring together tattooists and enthusiasts alike to discuss the bonds between the female body, feminism and the empowerment and ownership that tattoos can afford women. The day will start with the opportunity to get a tattoo of feminist flash from one of three talented tattoo artists: Dexter Kay, Julia Seizure and Lou Hopper. This will be on a strictly first come first served basis, and all designs will be priced between £60-£100.

Feminist Flash by Julia Seizure Feminist Flash by Julia Seizure


This will be followed by a panel discussion comprised of some of the industry’s most knowledgeable individuals, including renowned tattoo artists Dominique Holmes and Claudia de Sabe, who curated the Time: tattoo art today exhibition at Somerset House, performers Maxi More and Ruby Jones, and feminist cultural critic Doctor Jane Elliott. The discussion will be lead by art historian Dr Matt Lodder and cult tattoo figure Blue from Into You in Farringdon.

Performer Ruby Jones will be part of the panel discussion on tattoos and the female body.


Dominique Holmes at work



Originally set up as an alternative to what founding editor Alice Snape felt was largely sexist tattoo media, Things&Ink magazine has worked hard to promote a variety of alternative lifestyle choices, by challenging beauty and body standards, and exploring themes such as sexuality, gender and feminism throughout its back catalogue.

Performer Maxi More will be part of the panel discussion which starts at 4.30pm.


As the Feminist Library has reached its 40th anniversary this year, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate how far the library, and the feminist movement, has come as well as setting sights on securing its future.

The event will showcase the history, progression and future of women in both the feminist movement and the tattoo lifestyle, and it hopes to highlight topics such as the female body, ownership, notions of beauty, societal reactions and equality within both worlds.

Feminist Flash Day is also supported by award-winning Sacred Microdistillery. It is the first and smallest commercial distillery of its kind, and  the only one based in a residential house, in north London. Sacred Spiced English Vermouth, made with English wine from Three Choirs in Gloucestershire, and Sacred Rosehip Cup – the English alternative to Campari – all of which can be enjoyed together in a Sacred Negroni, served from 3pm before the panel discussion.

 For more information email hello@thingsandink.com, or head over to the Things&Ink social media pages, @thingsandink | facebook.com/thingsandink. 


Matt Lodder on his research and studying art history at Essex

In this video, Doctor Matt Lodder explains how his interest in tattoos, body modification and the representation of the body came about. Matt is currently working on a history of tattooing in Britain and how the perceptions of tattoos have changed over time. He also explains how art history students should challenge themselves and ‘make themselves uncomfortable’ in order to uncover and learn more.

There’s also a cheeky shot of The Art Issue of Things&Ink at the end of the video…

To find out more about art history at Essex go to: essex.ac.uk/arthistory

Matt Lodder on his research and studying art history at Essex from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Spot the difference – Edward Hopper Nighthawks, the tattooed version

In issue 4 of Things&InkThe Art Issue – we recreated four iconic works of art with our very own tattoo twist. One of the paintings featured was Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

And here’s our original recreation, as featured in the magazine, but can you spot the differences between our original version and the photo underneath?

Comment below, good luck.

Things and Ink original recreation

Nighthawks, Things&Ink tattooed version starring:  photographer Al Overdrive, art historian Doctor Matt Lodder, vintage hairdresser Lucie Luella and apprentice barber Ryan Costello. Photography by Heather Shuker, assisted by James Sheen-Stevens, styling by Olivia Snape.

Can you spot the differences?

Nighthawks spot the difference

Read more about Edward Hopper on www.artsy.net


Things&Ink The Art Issue – what’s inside

The art issue with Tracy DThe art issue cover is inspired by Millais’ iconic artwork, Ophelia, with tattoo artist Tracy D. Within the magazine are more fantastic recreations of iconic fine art work with a “tattoo twist,” along with art historical commentary from Doctor Matt Lodder.

the art issue things and ink Contents Contents page, click on image to enlarge


The Art Issue covers tricky topics, such as tattoo etiquette (when does inspiration turn into copying?), and tattoos as art. Amongst its glorious pages sits interviews with the iconic Angelique Houtkamp and Guen Douglas, and the relationship between artist and tattoo artist is explored in an exclusive interview with Jack Vettriano and Mo Coppoletta. It also features work from Benjamin Laukis and Andrea Furci.


Buy your copy online from Newsstand 

Letter from the editor

Hey lovely readers,

Wow, what a crazy few months it has been. There’s been so much going on in the Things&Ink bubble. The new issue, which is out now, is number four, but it also marks one year of the magazine. It is incredible to think that this time last year, it didn’t exist in the beautiful physical form that it does now. And it’s the biggest, and most ambitious, issue to date – well, we couldn’t mark Things&Ink’s first birthday in any other way now, could we?

The best ideas always come after a bottle or two of Pinot, and that’s exactly how photographer Heather Shuker and I came up with the concept for The Art Issue – and, of course, with the help of art historian Doctor Matt Lodder. We have created a stunning photo feature, including recreations of iconic works of art with our very own tattoo twist – check out the issue to see which painting the legendary Lal Hardy posed in.

The issue covers tricky topics, such as tattoo etiquette (when does inspiration turn into copying?), and tattoos as art. We also spoke to artists who have had their own work used as tattoo inspiration. One of my personal highlights  is an interview with iconic artist Jack Vettriano, as I have been a huge fan of his work since my teenage years.

The Art Issue really is incredible thanks to all its talented contributors, and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on a copy. It is definitely my favourite issue to date.

Also in case you missed it, I debated tattoos with Jeremy Paxman and Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel on Wednesday evening on Newsnight, it really was one of the most surreal nights of my life. Paxman was loving my Pre-Raphaelite leg by our cover star Tracy D, which also features in the latest issue.

Hope you all enjoy the issue as much as I have enjoyed editing it. And be sure to check out our website for all the latest deals.

Hope to see you all at the party for Under Her Skin at Atomica Gallery, it’s time to celebrate a truly special year.

Lots of love


Things&Ink The Art Issue cover – Tracy D as Ophelia

The Art Issue front and back cover Tracy D as Ophelia on Things&Ink The Art Issue


Issue 4 marks the one year anniversary of Things&Ink magazine, so we wanted to do something truly special with the cover. We decided to create our very own (tattooed) version of Millais’ iconic artwork, Ophelia, with tattoo artist Tracy D.

This was the most ambitious (and terrifying) shoot we have ever attempted, but I am sure you will agree that it was worth it, Tracy D looks hauntingly beautiful.

Check out The Art Issue, which goes on sale on Thursday, for more iconic painting recreations with our very own tattoo twist, along with art historical commentary from Doctor Matt Lodder.

Things&Ink magazine Tracy D Ophelia


Photographer: Heather Shuker, assisted by James Sheen-Stevens
Make-up: Keely Reichardt
Styling: Olivia Snape
Headress: Gypsy East
Hair: Eleanor Robyn
Cover design: James Gilyead

We’re so happy we can finally share this with you, as we keep getting so excited when we spot Ophelia on billboards, as part of Art Everywhere.

Ophelia Tate art everywhere

Visit thingsandink.com for more information.

The Lizardman and I

On Monday I met Erik ‘ The Lizardman’ Sprague.

The Lizardman and I Here’s me and my friends, Louise and Keely, with the Lizardman


I met Erik at Art History in the Pub, with Matt Lodder.

Here’s some bits of info I learnt about the Lizardman at the event:

Erik flirted with a number of ideas before he decided to decorate his body green (and no he doesn’t actually want to be a lizard, he knows he’s a human), including a chess board effect. Erik likes the powerful symbolic nature of the lizard and also he just likes the way reptiles look aesthetically.

Erik’s art is constantly with him and will change as his body does.

Erik wanted to see how far he could transform his body and flirt with what it is to be human. He wanted to question what it is to be human if you don’t look like one.

I noticed he didn’t have his armpits tattooed, but I know he’s getting them done later this year, good luck with that Erik and I can’t wait to see how your art evolves with you.