I Will Always Have You

Mapping the tattooing culture of Knowle West

At Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol, from 11th September - 19th December 2014.

I Will Always Have You aims to map the tattooing culture of Knowle West by documenting the tattoos of local residents and examining the power of their personal narratives. The project aims to discover the memories and stories that are hidden in people’s body art.

In collaboration with Knowle West Media Centre and digital agency Play Nicely, we created a mobile tattoo parlour that toured around Bristol collecting pieces of body and the stories behind them. You can see them by visiting www.knowlewesttattoos.org.uk, where you can also upload your own.

The I Will Always Have You exhibition uncovers the lives, loves and human stories behind the tattoos - and features photographs, audio and interviews collected during the mobile tattoo parlour’s tour.

It also includes interactive installations, created by Play Nicely, where visitors can control large-scale 3D avatars bearing miniature versions of the collected tattoos.

We’re such a close knit community, everybody wears their hearts on their sleeves, literally, I suppose.
— Chantelle Simpson
The tattoo instrument he had was a flat piece of bamboo.
— Joe Cook