Grace Hill is a natural light portraiture, lifestyle and wedding photographer residing in Colchester, Essex (UK). Her final degree project ‘Human Canvas’ is an editorial project that takes an insightful stance into tattoos and people's personal reasons behind them.
A good friend of mine from North Devon, South West of the UK, since the age of 18 Josie has been collecting tattoos. One of her most recent pieces is a back piece of Hindu God Ganesh, with chakras centrally-placed along his body. Sitting for nine hours in a row, Josie decided to get the depiction tattooed to commemorate her interests in religion and spirituality. Here, she is photographed at Crow Point in North Devon, where she can often be found meditating.
Human Canvas considers the role of the tattoo in today’s society, as a form of expression, alter ego, as body adornment or for personal reasons. The project seeks to investigate what the tattoo means to a range of people from a diversity of backgrounds. It focuses less on the aesthetic qualities of tattoos and more toward the ways that the art form affects and influences the current and previous generations.
Influenced by wider artistic practices such as sculpture, painting and the history of tattoo culture, the images aim to convey the personal reasons behind each protagonist’s tattoos. All of those who feature in the book have been carefully selected to take part in the project, and span from the West to East of the UK.
A teacher with a love for rockabilly, cats and the seaside, Charlotte jumped at the chance to take part in ‘Human Canvas’ after hearing about the project from a friend. We met for the first time this May, and headed to Clacton Pier in Essex. The pier was somewhere she spent many hours as a child, and someplace that has clearly influenced her love for all things nautical.
Long time friend of my cousin, he offered to take part in my project after hearing about it from my aunt. After losing his father at a young age, he always knew he wanted a tattoo to commemorate their father and son bond. They both shared a love for airplanes, so it seemed only natural to get a plane tattoo in his memory. Here he can be seen at Wormingford Airfield, Colchester, Essex, on a peaceful and reflecting May evening
Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.
— Jack London
After finding out about my project online, Sam came forward to me to take part in 'Human Canvas.' Her backstory is interesting, in that she is a practicing Pagan, a religion few and far between in today’s modern society. Sam’s tattoo depicts a witchy fairy, with black cats on broomsticks, referencing the mystical elements surrounding her religion. Here, she can be seen nestling in a tree at Friday Woods in Colchester, Essex, around Easter time, in celebration of the spring equinox.