Dwight Magee with one of his favourite pictures in his collection of Nude Tattoo photographs at the Smithers Art Gallery. Tom Best photo

A story written with a different ink

“Each one has a story and each one is important to the individual who shows it.”

An exhibition of photographs featuring amateur models displaying their tattoos. In the nude. It brings up all kinds of possibilities, some of which should maybe not be on show in a public art gallery.

These photos, however, are very tasteful and they are certainly not anything close to the pornography that some people immediately conjure up when they hear the term nude.

When photographer Dwight Magee began his project, he advertised for people who would be interested in showing their tattoos in order to try to tell the story of how they use their bodies as canvases. Magee said that he was overwhelmed with the number of people who come forward in interest. He was expecting around 20 but ended up having to cut it off when over 70 contacted him.

The tattoos are not merely decorations.

“Each one has a story and each one is important to the individual who shows it. And in some cases they are very empowering,” he said.

One of his favorites is of a mature woman who has undergone a full life and has endured the aches and pains that such a life brings. Along with other pictures, one can easily see that life in the facial expressions that Magee has captured in the studious sittings he and those models underwent.

In my own background, a tattoo was something that you might see on a released prisoner or someone who has returned from a lifetime on the sea. A lot of the time it was an anchor and maybe it was dedicated to a special woman like Mom.

The whole experience of tattoos has changed and while for some it might still be merely decoration, for many it has a special meaning. A pair of wings might recall someone special who has gone on to a higher place. There might be a likeness, or even a photographic image, of a loved one or a pet.

The pictures are tasteful with strategically placed covers of various forms such as a guitar in one case, and there is no more nudity that one might see in many movies or on TV.

For many, there is a spiritual connection in the display and this is what Magee has tried so hard to capture.

His only disappointment in the display at the Smithers Art Gallery was that due to the size of the gallery, he could not show the complete collection.

Looking at the photos, one can see the beauty of the actual artwork on their skin and marvel at the time and patience that they must have taken. Modern technology has made the process much easier and quicker but a steady hand must still be used and a still canvas must be presented.

Once again the Art Gallery has come up with a display which makes it worth your time to visit.

In addition, James Van der Meulen has a collection of ink drawings that some have called doodles but even a cursory examination will show that they are much more. These works must be considered art. They may be spontaneous but they are inspired and elicit feelings that art brings forth.

Definitely worth a visit to see both of these exhibits, which run until Nov. 21.

Hours and upcoming events can be found at smithersart.org.

sports@interior-news.com

 

One of a collection of pen and ink drawings by James Van der Meulen shows much more art and expertise than mere doodling. Tom Best photo

Each photo has a story to tell and needs more than just a quick glance to appreciate the artwork in the tattoo. Tom Best photo

The personal story behind each tattoo might be hidden while the model is wearing their everyday clothing. Tom Best photo

The tattoos are highly personal and not just a decoration. Tom Best photo

Just Posted

Golf season in Smithers is underway

A first look at the golf course on opening day

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered

DFO confident new site related to April 2 dump of 250 more crab

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

SD54 approves first two readings of 2019-2020 budget draft

SD54 approved the first two readings of a drafted 2019-2020 budget on Tuesday night.

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Canada privacy watchdog taking Facebook to court

If the court application is successful, it could lead to modest fines and an order for Facebook to revamp its privacy

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

Most Read