The Art of Self Expression

Somerset Rural Life Museum, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8DB

01823347446
SRLM@swheritage.org.uk
swheritage.org.uk/somerset-rural-life-museum/

Saturday 08 September 2018 – Saturday 01 December 2018
Opening Hours: 10am–5pm
Admission Fee: Adult £6.00, Concessions £4.95, Child Under 5 Free, Child under 18 £2.75, Family 2 adults £16.30, Family 1 adult £10.45

The Art of Self Expression explores how facial hair and tattoos have been influenced by wider changes in British society and culture, and tells the individual stories and lifestyle choices connected to facial hair and tattoos in Somerset.

Curator Bethan Murray explains: “The exhibition looks at how for centuries people have used facial hair and body art to make statements about themselves.

“The exhibition uses collections and imagery to trace the history of facial hair and tattoos and their changing meanings and associations.”

An important source of information has been the prisoner description books from Wilton and Ilchester Gaols which often describe distinctive tattoos. They include birds, mermaids and women as well as a flower pot design worn by a Taunton prisoner in 1841. For the exhibition, Weston tattoo artists Josh Hingston and Josh Burgess of Next Level Tattoo Studio were commissioned to re-create versions of the 19th-century designs.

The exhibition also explores how facial hair styles have varied according to religion, culture and social pressures from the 1800s till now. From Georgian whiskers to the hippy culture of the ’60s and ’70s and hipsters today, the exhibition traces the trends in male grooming through historic and contemporary photography.

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Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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