Spike is an internationally renowned, award winning artist who has dedicated his career to the promotion of tattooing as an art form He has achieved this through his work at some of the most prestigious conventions in the U.K. and worldwide. He was one of the original artists used to launch Skin Deep one of Europe’s biggest circulated tattoo magazines. He has appeared on various television shows. He was the first tattoo artist in the U.K to have an exhibition on his work in a provincial gallery. Now he has taken another step by exhibiting life size canvass.
Spike has his own tattoo studio in Wolverhampton and has been a tattoo artist for 18 years. He has always been interested in the origins of the art form which has taken him all around the world studying the varying techniques of hand tattooing as well as the plethora of different styles employed by various tribes.
The word tattoo comes from the Polynesian word ta-tu(ta-tau), which means to strike repeatedly. ‘From the Heart’ will explore the influences on Spike’s work from places as diverse as Japan, New Zealand, Polynesia, India and Africa.
Spike uses authentic Japanese ink and brushes to paint designs directly onto canvass - the texture of canvass providing an interesting contrast to the usual medium - human skin. This leads to amazing results, as Spike says, Being confronted with a blank canvas is daunting but enables me to express myself freely without the restraints of a client.
These designs are unique and very powerful images when presented in this way – many of the canvasses are life size. Tattoos adopt a different meaning within many tribes that practice the art of tattoo; they take on spiritual, religious and social meanings that will be explained throughout the series of works.
The name From the Heart is taken from Spikes signature - a Sanskrit symbol.
As A backdrop to "From The Heart" there will be a live hand tattooing
demonstration by The Borneoheadhunters an Iban troupe from Sarawak East
Malaysia and by Hori-Hiro-Japan on Thursday 5th September. This is a unique opportunity to see
traditional hand tattooing in England outside a tattoo convention setting
and admission will be free.