Please note this is NOT a ZOOM Lecture but an in person lecture at our museum – tickets include a complimentary glass of Devil’s Botany Absinthe

Bar open at 6:30pm and lecture starts at 7pm

Tattoo: An Art History with Dr Matt Lodder

Despite its rich visual culture and aesthetic traditions, there has never before been an art history of the tattoo. Beginning by explaining the origins of the art form – with Captain Cook ‘discovering’ the tattooing practices of Polynesians – Tattoo: An Art History will then trace the history of tattooing as a professional artistic practice in Britain from 1870, when the first professional tattoo studio opened, to the present day. In this enthralling talk (which accompanies a forthcoming book of the same name), body art and modification expert Matt Lodder establishes a chronological survey of an oft-misunderstood and much mythologised mode of art-making from the sumptuous, gilded artisanal studios of Victorian London, via the bawdy dockside spaces of the 1950s, through to the seemingly ubiquitous tattoo culture of the twenty-first century.

Lodder reveals how tastes and technologies have affected the type of images being tattooed; how innovations in both style and method percolated within, to and from Britain; who the most important and influential tattoo artists were and how, despite common misunderstandings to the contrary, tattooing has always been a permanent fixture of the visual culture of Britain’s entire social spectrum – popular amongst sailors, aristocratic ladies and even kings.

Dr Matt Lodder: Matt completed his PhD in 2010, having submitted a thesis entitled ‘Body Art: Body Modification as Artistic Practice’. Before his current role at the University of Essex, Lodder taught contemporary art and theory at the Universities of Reading and Birmingham. His current research is principally concerned with the history of Western tattooing, and the artistic status of body art and body modification practices. He has lectured on topics including body modification practices, tattoos and tattooing; contemporary performance art; deconstructivist architecture; lowbrow and outsider art; pop surrealism; digital and internet art; art & science; and Deleuzean approaches to art.

Devil’s Botany is London’s first absinthe distillery, founded by Directors of The Last Tuesday Society’s Absinthe Parlour & Cocktail Bar.

Related Events:

SHAPESHIFTERS: A group exhibition featuring the work of London tattoo artists

On view at The Last Tuesday Society 12th July – 3rd September

Mon 7th Aug 2023 - 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Tickets include a glass of Devils Botany Absinthe