From Tattoos to Titanic – Exhibitions at National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

Tattoos through the years
The 2017 British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibition, curated by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC), is a celebration of tattooing in the UK. A ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing, the exhibition is the largest gathering of tattoo objects and original artwork assembled in the UK. It asks if tattooing is an artform, and demystifies tattoo culture by exploring the styles, artistry and fashion of tattoo art from the 17th century to the present day.

Bringing a vision to life
Working with the NMMC and guest curator, Dr Matt Lodder, Imagemakers brought the project to life by planning and designing the exhibition and its style, layout, cases, graphics, digital interpretation and interactives.

2018 – Tattoo on tour
A year after it opened at the NMMC, this thought-provoking exhibition has set sail and will tour the UK over the next two years. The first port of call for the ‘tattoo tour’ is Torre Abbey Museum in Torquay, Devon, where it will be on display until 3 June before moving on to Portsmouth.

As the exhibition travels the country, what fills the void at the NMMC?

Titanic Stories
The story of the Titanic is well known. Indeed, it is one of the most globally talked about events in history. Titanic Stories is the NMMC’s exhibition for 2018, and examines the stories of the Titanic’s sinking on 15 April 1912.
Rather than focusing heavily on its infamous sinking, the exhibition explores the rapid commercialisation of the Titanic disaster. The first souvenir postcards were produced merely days after the sinking, and books were written and film adaptations made within months.

Spatial planning and design language
Working with guest co-curators, Imagemakers again planned and designed the exhibition, its layout, style and content. The exhibition presents a wide range of documents and imagery, as well as some rare objects and never-before-heard testimonials from survivors. With a focus on documentation, the displays are presented to reflect legal materials and the aftermath of the disaster.

Lifeboat 13
A replica of one of the Titanic lifeboats sits at the centre of the exhibition. It was hand-built by the Museum, and the curated collection is arranged around this. Seating arrangements within the lifeboat are graphically portrayed to bring the story of the few survivors to life.

Promoting the exhibition
As with the Tattoo exhibition, Imagemakers designed and produced a range of promotional materials for the Titanic Stories exhibition. Drawing on the exhibition design, Imagemakers created large format marketing campaign graphics and online PR materials.

Bringing heritage to life
Imagemakers has nearly 30 years’ experience in interpretation planning, exhibition design and installation. Visit Imagemakers’ website to find out how they can help bring your next heritage project to life.

Sign up to the Museum-iD Newsletter:
Sign up to the Museum-iD Newsletter: