We attended the Big London Tattoo Show 2023, at the ExCel in London.

PhotographyPaul from Anarchy Photography

ModelLeah Debrincat

There was a story here that combined apparel, accessories, art, tattoo artists, tarot readers, body piercing specialists and suppliers. Viewing the various stands gives you a true sense of the industry scale.


The ExCeL Centre, short for Exhibition Centre London, is an international exhibition and conference centre in the Royal Docks area of London, England. It was opened in November 2000 and has since become one of the largest and most important event venues in the United Kingdom.

The history of the ExCeL Centre began with the decision to regenerate the former Royal Victoria Dock, which had fallen into disuse since the 1980s. The idea was to create a state-of-the-art exhibition and conference facility to attract large-scale events and revitalise the area. 


Construction of the ExCeL Centre began in 1998 and was completed within two years at £400 million. The centre was designed by award-winning architect Sir Terry Farrell and covers a total area of 100 acres. It comprises of interconnected exhibition halls, conference facilities, meeting rooms, and event spaces.

The ExCeL Centre officially opened its doors on November 27, 2000. Its first major event was the annual London International Boat Show, which attracted thousands of visitors. Since then, the venue has hosted a wide range of international exhibitions, conferences, trade shows, concerts, sporting events, and cultural gatherings.

In 2012, the ExCeL Centre gained significant attention as it became one of London’s leading venues for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It hosted several sporting events, including boxing, fencing, table tennis, taekwondo, and wrestling.


Over the years, the ExCeL Centre has continued to grow and evolve. It has expanded its facilities, adding a dedicated international convention centre called ICC London ExCeL. Today, it is a world-class venue that attracts millions of visitors and hosts numerous high-profile events yearly.


The point of a tattoo exhibition is to celebrate tattoos’ artistry, creativity, and cultural significance. It provides a platform for talented tattoo artists to showcase their skills, unique styles, and innovative techniques. It allows individuals to appreciate the diverse forms of self-expression and personal stories that tattoos can convey. Moreover, a tattoo exhibition fosters a sense of community, bringing together enthusiasts, artists, and collectors to connect, learn, and appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship behind this ancient art form.

The Art of Expression: Unveiling the Beauty of a Tattoo Exhibition

The Art of Expression: Unveiling the Beauty of a Tattoo Exhibition

THE FUEL GIRLS are a world famous multi-skilled performance group based in the UK, specialising in all kinds of fire & pyro performance and aerial shows.

They have featured in TV shows for ITV and the BBC, appeared in music videos for Plan B, toured with Motorhead and Fall Out Boy, have driven their own modified cars on the Gumball Rally three times (Europe & USA), appeared in TV campaigns for Ministry of Sound and even raced their own Fuel Girls power boat! 

We loved their performance at The Big London Tattoo Show. They complemented the essence of this event and contributed to the ambience. 

Photography – Sanj saigal

The Fuel GirlsWebsite

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In the realm of art, there are countless mediums through which individuals express their deepest emotions, beliefs, and stories. Among these, the captivating world of tattoos is a mesmerising testament to the power of visual artistry. Today, we delve into the realm of a remarkable tattoo exhibition, where the boundaries between body and canvas blur, leaving us awestruck by tattoo artists’ skill, creativity, and boundless imagination.

Tattoo – A Canvas Beyond the Skin

Traditionally, tattoos were seen as symbols of rebellion or tribal affiliation, but their significance has evolved dramatically. The Tattoo Exhibition, held at the ExCel, celebrates the transformative power of this art form, elevating it to an undeniable form of self-expression and personal storytelling. The human body once considered a mere vessel, is now transformed into a living, breathing masterpiece – a canvas that embodies the essence of humanity’s diverse narratives.

A Tapestry of Diversity

As one delves into the depths of the Tattoo Exhibition, it becomes evident that this art form transcends borders, cultures, and generations. From the intricate tribal patterns of Polynesia to the delicate floral motifs that grace the skin of individuals from every corner of the globe, the exhibition showcases a rich tapestry of artistic diversity. Each tattoo tells a unique story, unravelled through symbolic imagery, vivid colours, and meticulous details.

Masterpieces in Motion

At the Big London Tattoo Exhibition, one is left in awe of the sheer talent and craftsmanship displayed by the tattoo artists. Their skilled hands transform the human body into a living masterpiece, combining technical precision with artistic vision. The exhibition showcases finished tattoos and allows visitors to witness the magic unfold in real time as artists create stunning works of art right before their eyes. This interactive experience bridges the gap between artist and admirer, forging connections that go beyond the art itself.

Exploring the Meaning

While the Tattoo Exhibition undoubtedly dazzles with its visual brilliance, the stories behind the tattoos captivate the heart. The exhibition serves as a platform for individuals to share their personal narratives, triumphs, and struggles. Each tattoo becomes a vessel for catharsis, healing, and empowerment as individuals wear their stories with pride and resilience. Within the exhibition’s walls, visitors are encouraged to delve into the depths of the art, engaging in conversations that foster empathy, understanding, and a celebration of the human experience.

A Celebration of Artistic Freedom

The Tattoo Exhibition serves as a resounding affirmation of artistic freedom and the power of self-expression. It challenges societal norms and preconceived notions, embracing the beauty found in the unconventional. By showcasing the artistry and diversity of the tattoo world, the exhibition encourages visitors to embrace their uniqueness, fostering an environment that celebrates individuality and the freedom to create.

Why do people get tattoos?

People get tattoos for a multitude of reasons, as each individual’s motivation can vary greatly. Here are some common reasons why people choose to get tattoos:


Tattoos serve as a powerful form of self-expression, allowing individuals to showcase their personalities, beliefs, passions, and experiences visually and permanently. It’s a means of communicating who they are and what matters to them.


Tattoos often hold deep sentimental value, commemorating significant events, milestones, or loved ones. It can be a way to honour the memory of someone special, mark a personal achievement, or celebrate a meaningful moment in their lives.

Tattoo Symbolism and Meaning 

Tattoos can be deeply symbolic, representing personal philosophies, cultural or religious affiliations, or even serving as reminders of values and aspirations. They often carry profound and personal meanings that resonate with the individual.

Artistic Appreciation 

Many people get tattoos simply because they appreciate tattoos’ artistry and aesthetic appeal. The intricate designs, colours, and creativity involved in tattooing can be seen as wearable art, allowing individuals to carry a piece of art with them at all times.

Empowerment and Confidence 

Tattoos can empower individuals, helping them reclaim ownership of their bodies and fostering a sense of confidence and self-acceptance. It can be a way to embrace one’s uniqueness and challenge societal norms and expectations.

Healing and Closure 

Some people choose to get tattoos as a part of their healing process, using the art form to overcome personal traumas emotional struggles, or to signify a fresh start. Tattoos can serve as a therapeutic outlet, providing a sense of closure and growth.

It is essential to note that motivations for getting tattoos are highly personal and can differ significantly from person to person. The decision to get a tattoo should always be well-considered and thoughtfully chosen, as tattoos are permanent expressions of oneself.

Why have tattoos become so popular?

In many societies, there has been a shift in attitudes towards tattoos. They are no longer perceived as solely associated with subcultures or rebellion. Tattoos have become more mainstream and widely accepted, leading to increased popularity. Celebrities, athletes, and public figures sporting tattoos have played a significant role in popularising them. Their visibility in the media and social platforms has made tattoos more fashionable and desirable among the general population. 

The rise of social media has allowed people to showcase their tattoos to a broad audience. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok inspire and create a sense of community among tattoo enthusiasts. This exposure has fueled the popularity of tattoos.

Tattoo Stigma

Over the years, advancements in tattooing techniques, equipment, and ink quality have made the process safer, more precise, and less painful. This has helped reduce the stigma around tattoos and made them more appealing to a broader audience. Tattoo artists today are highly skilled and can create intricate and detailed designs. This allows individuals to personalise their tattoos, making them unique and meaningful to their own lives. The ability to create bespoke designs has made tattoos more attractive to people seeking self-expression.

Like any other fashion trend, tattoos have their own trends and styles that come and go. Certain tattoo styles, such as watercolour, minimalistic, or geometric designs, have gained popularity recently, attracting more individuals to get inked. With the growing visibility of tattoos in society, people have become more aware of the cultural and historical significance across different cultures. This increased awareness, combined with greater acceptance, has contributed to the popularity of tattoos.

Reasons For Getting A Tattoo

It’s important to remember that the reasons behind an individual’s decision to get a tattoo vary; not everyone follows trends or seeks popularity. Ultimately, the popularity of tattoos can be attributed to a combination of societal shifts, personal expression, and changing perceptions.

What is freelance press?

Freelance press refers to individuals or organisations that provide freelance or independent press services. In journalism and media, freelance press typically involves independent journalists or writers who work on a contract basis for various media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, websites, or television networks. These freelancers may pitch story ideas, conduct interviews, research, and write articles or reports, which are then submitted to the media organisations they work with.Freelance press allows journalists to have more flexibility in their work, as they can choose their assignments and have the freedom to work with multiple outlets. It also provides media organisations access to diverse talent and expertise without needing full-time staff. Freelance press can cover various topics, including news, features, opinion pieces, and specialised reporting.

Social media

Tattooists are often highly talented individuals. Tattooing is a form of art that requires skill, creativity, precision, and a deep understanding of various techniques and styles. Tattooists must be able to translate their client’s visions and ideas into beautiful and meaningful designs that will be permanently inked onto their skin. They must also have a keen eye for detail and the ability to work with different skin types and textures. Additionally, tattooists often spend years honing their craft and continually improving their skills through practice and ongoing learning. Their talent lies in their ability to create stunning and unique tattoos that meet their client’s expectations and stand the test of time.

Contact the magazine today if you want an editorial on you or your business. We are officially recognised by the UK Press Authority. Whether you need a press release or an interview on our Spotify channel, we are priced for small businesses and offer excellent social media content.

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Thanks to the organisers, you created another spectacular event that attracted homegrown and international talent.