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Inked: the history of indigenous tattooing

Tattoo: past and present


Saturday 20 October 2018
2 — 3pm

This event has now ended

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Female tattooed figure (detail), 18th or early 19th century, Aitutaki, Cook Islands.

Wood, pigment. height 58 cm. © Five Continents Museum, Munich; photo: Marianne Franke.

Our panel, Art Historian and author, Sebastian Galliot, Māori tattooist, Te Rangitu Netana, and chair Dr Matt Lodder, discuss the varying traditions and journeys that have formed today’s tattoo culture.

Are historical tattooing traditions fully recognised by contemporary tattooists? What part do spirituality, cosmology, journey, tradition play in today’s tattoo culture and how are cultural traditions respected?

With a resurgence in the popularity of traditional methods of tattooing, our panel will explore the global histories of tattooing culture and discuss whether the processes are being recognised respectfully within contemporary culture.

Participating speakers:

Dr Matt Lodder is a Senior Lecturer in contemporary art and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex. He teaches European, American and Japanese art, architecture, visual culture and theory from the late 19th century to the present, including modern and contemporary art post-1945. His research primarily concerns the application of art-historical methods to history of Western tattooing from the 17th century to the present day. His latest major exhibition, British Tattoo Art Revealed, began at the National Maritime Museum Falmouth in March 2017 and is currently on tour nationwide through 2020.

Sebastien Galliot is an anthropologist at the CNRS and the Centre for Research and Documentation on Oceania in Marseille. His teachings and researches range from Samoan tattooing and Pacific studies to anthropology of art and cultural technology. He recently issued a book on the history of Samoan tattooing entitled Tatau, co-authored with Sean Mallon (senior curator of Pacific collection at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in New Zealand). Since 2007, he has been collaborating with the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac as a workshop designer, a post-doctoral fellow and a scientific curator on several projects involving tattooing in the Pacific. His latest major exhibition, Tattoo, co-curated with Anne et Julien and Pascal Bagot, opened in 2014 at the musée du quai Branly and has just finished touring North America in 2018.

Te Rangitu Netana is a Traditional Ta Moko/Maori Tattoo Artist from New Zealand, and is of Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Te Arawa tribal descent. He has been practicing Ta Moko for over 28 years, and is experienced in both modern machine and traditional chisel methods of tattooing. For the last 10 years, he has been dedicated to bringing back the practice of Ta Moko with traditional tools.

Te Rangitu has travelled extensively throughout his career, working with tattoo masters from many cultures, including Hawaiian and Samoan. After many years living and working with his own people in the far north of New Zealand, he is now living in the UK, and works from his private studio near Colchester, Essex.

This event is part of the ‘Tattoo: past and present’ day of events. Scroll down for further information and to book a combined ticket.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Saturday 20 October 2018

2 — 3pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9 concessions