Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed

As the world’s leading destination for naval heritage, where better to unveil our newest major exhibition; Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed. It’s genuinely ground-breaking and a comprehensive history of British tattooing, featuring cutting-edge designers, leading academics, and major private collectors. Featuring over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts from the work of major tattoo artists George Burchett, Alex Binnie and Lal Hardy, this is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK.


Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed runs at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard from 30 June 2018 to 6 January 2019. 

Make a year of it! Buy a Full Navy Ticket and visit 11 amazing attractions. 


 Adult gate priceAdult online price
Tattoo Exhibition Only £10.00 £8.00 BUY NOW
Full Navy Ticket*
£39.00 £31.00 BUY NOW


*Includes: TATTOO plus... HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, Action Stations, HMS M.33, Harbour Tours, Boathouse 4, Dockyard Apprentice, Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower.



Challenging pre-conceptions and celebrating tattooing’s rich artistic heritage

It is estimated that a fifth of the UK population, almost 12 million people, now have at least one tattoo and among young adults, this rises to a third.

This exhibition will bring to life the rich maritime heritage of tattoos, depicting how people from all areas of society have always been tattooed. From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout British history.


Tattoo Alice V2

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to host ’Tattoo’. I am a fan of tattoos and have loved getting under the skin of this exhibition and its links to the Royal Navy" Alice Roberts-Pratt



First on show at National Maritime Museum Cornwall highlights from this exhibition include:


See private collections of tattoo material belonging to Willy Robinson, Jimmie Skuse, and Paul ‘Rambo’ Ramsbottom

Explore the incredible real story of Britain’s pioneering female tattoo artist, Jessie Knight

Experience the ‘100 Hands Project’– 100 different tattooed latex arms, curated by Alice Snape of ‘Things and Ink’ magazine

View three major contemporary art commissions from Tihoti Faara Barff, Matt Houston, and Aimée Cornwell


The exhibition is guest curated by Dr Matt Lodder, lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex, supported by co-curators Stuart Slade and Derryth Ridge of National Maritime Museum Cornwall and Alice Snape of ‘Things and Ink’ magazine who curates the ‘100 Hands’.



In the past sailor’s tattoos mapped journeys on the sea and through life. They symbolised to others where they have travelled, their job and who they loved- a walking biography on your body.

Now, for the first time, The National Museum of the Royal Navy is documenting nautical tattoo designs based on their adventures and rank. We're collating people’s own naval tattoo designs with their stories in our gallery.


Become part of our nautical tattoo archive and send us your tattoos


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