Tattoo Stories

There are many reasons people chose to become tattooed however one overriding theme is love. This can be romantic love, familial love, friendship, happiness in love and heartbreak. Tattoos are a visible means of expressing such powerful feelings however the true meaning is known only to the wearer. We might presume a heart shape relates to love, but we do not know the depth of meaning, or what compelled the wear to have these feelings permanently inked onto their skin. This project set out to collect tattoo stories relating to love, in gathering the stories the meaning behind the tattoos were revealed.


If you would like to take part in the project we are collecting photographs and stories of tattoos related to love – this can be any interpretation of love from tattoos in memory of a loved one to tattoos celebrating a love of pizza! If you have a tattoo you would like to share please email or contact us on Instagram @Shoes_and_Tattoos all we need is a photo of your tattoo and your story (all submissions will remain anonymous unless stated otherwise). We will be inviting a small number of participants who have shared their love stories to take part in a professional photo shoot please see Volunteers: Tattoo Stories for more details.

This concept will be further explored in a photographic series where the raw emotion behind the tattoo is stitched into the worn garment revealing concealed feelings and emotion.This series is in collaboration with photographer Mark Howe.

The first stages of project will be exhibited as part of the Costume & Fashion in Practice and Context Symposium at Huddersfield University 5th-6th December 2016, the exhibition will be open to the public to view in the Creative Arts Building.

The second stage will be to produce a collaborative zine – stay tuned for details…