We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

Inked: the history of indigenous tattooing

Tattoo: past and present


Saturday 20 October 2018
2 — 3pm

Book now
Part of our


events programme
Go to exhibition page

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.

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.

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

Book now