Needle on skin | Online course

Essential information

Date and time: 
Wednesdays from 2 September 2020 | 6pm

Join us as we take a deep dive into the history of tattooing and maritime tattoos in the UK.

Learn about the pioneers and hear previously hidden stories, including the recollections from one of the first female tattooist. 

Discover more about sailor tattoos and their meanings. Explore social attitudes towards tattoos and tattooing in the UK, throughout its history.

Can tattoo histories tell us about our society as much as any object in a museum?

2 September 

Week 1: Perceptions and Misconceptions

9 September 

Week 2: Sailors and Symbols – maritime tattooing history

16 September 

Week 3: Hidden Histories - pioneering tattooists

23 September 

Week 4: Old to New Tattoo - conservation, new styles and tools and attitude

Speaker: Dr. Matt Lodder

Dr Matt Lodder is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory, and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex. His research primarily concerns the application of art-historical methods to history of Western tattooing. Two books on tattoo history are currently in production. 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.

Speaker: Dorothy Shaw

Born Dorothy Heywood in the middle of WW2 in Oldham, Lancs, Dorothy's Dad worked in the cotton mill and her Mum stayed home but made sweets, purses, handbags, and took in sewing and anything to help keep food on the table. Dot much preferred her own company, drawing, painting and reading. She moved to Blackpool in March 1953, continued with her art. In 1957 aged 15, Dot was introduced to Prince Eugene- a Tattooist from Jamaica and learned how to tattoo. She was 17 when she worked a complete season (1959) for the first time. She worked on Blackpool's Golden Mile at the front of the Montmartre Theatre. Her final season was in 1972.

Important information

  • This workshop is free, but numbers are limited. Make sure you book a place in advance so that we can plan for the correct numbers. If you book and are unable to take part, please let us know so we can offer your place to someone else.
  • No experience necessary—beginners and experts alike are welcome.
  • This session has been designed for adults during lockdown but children over 13 years old are welcome. Please note that some of the collection and discussions address sensitive topics.
  • Sessions will be held via Zoom. This application is not affiliated with the museum. We have staff monitoring every session and will eject participants behaving inappropriately. We advise that you take the time to read the terms and conditions on Zooms website for your own information and safety.

How do I join a live online workshop?

  1. Follow the link to book your place via Eventbrite.
  2. Once you have booked your ticket, you will receive an email confirming your place on your chosen live online workshop. The email will contain a link and password to the prescheduled workshop.
  3. When it is time for your scheduled event, click the link on your email. This will take you to your chosen event which is being hosted through an application called Zoom. You will be asked for your meeting ID and Password. These should come up automatically, but if not they can be found on your original email.
  4. As the session is being run as a webinar you will not be visible to the workshop leader or to the other participants. You will be able to ask questions using the chat function. 
  5. Once you’re in the workshop, you will be asked to choose to connect audio in three different ways. We recommend using computer audio.
  6. If you sign in before the workshop begins you will be asked to wait in a virtual waiting room.
  7. When the workshop begins you can choose to have your video on or off. We will only interact with participants who have their camera on. If you do not want to be interacted with please switch off your camera.
  8. These sessions are monitored at all times. Any behaviour deemed to be inappropriate will result in participants being removed from the session and being reported to the appropriate authorities where necessary.
  9. We support independent learning for children but we hold the safety and well-being of children in higher regard. Therefore we ask that an adult is present when children are partaking.
  10. Extra activities may be suggested at the end of the session. Links for additional tasks will be put in the chat room for further learning.
  11. Your host will inform you when the session is finished. When you have finished, close your tab and sign out of Zoom if you signed in at the beginning.