Earlier than there have been the intricate designs you see in up to date tattoos everywhere in the world, there was Sailor Jerry, aka Norman Collins, a tattooist within the mid-Twentieth century who nearly single-handedly impressed the trendy occupation of tattooing.
Husson College college students in adjunct teacher Kat Johnson’s blended media class have used Sailor Jerry’s designs as inspiration for an artwork set up now on show in Husson’s Robert E. White Gallery. The scholars created their very own designs impressed by Sailor Jerry, whose iconic photos of stars, anchors, birds, hearts, ships and pin-up ladies helped pave the best way for in the present day’s tattooing business.
Johnson, an artist within the Bangor space, knew she needed to do a wheatpasting mission together with her college students, a medium she’s lengthy labored in as an everyday contributor to the Downtown Bangor Wheatpaste Project. She envisioned every pupil developing with their very own design, to be printed and wheat pasted on the gallery wall.
With so many designs in a single area, she thought it would appear to be a tattoo sleeve, which is usually a mixture of interrelated photos and designs all tattooed on half or all of an individual’s arm.
“As we dwell in Maine with a robust maritime historical past, the tattoo thought labored nicely with our shared tradition,” Johnson stated. “Instantly Sailor Jerry got here to thoughts. His daring line work and signature worth coloring have been two sturdy formal qualities I might train to the scholars in the course of the course of. These parts mixed made Sailor Jerry an ideal match.”
Tattoo as an artwork kind has its roots in historic Austronesian folks, who developed the unique stick-and-poke tattoo technique, utilizing a mallet and a piercing implement. Within the U.S., nevertheless, tattooing bought its begin in Nineteenth-century military camps and crusing ports, the place itinerant tattoo artists would journey and tattoo troopers, sailors and criminals, with designs meant to represent their experiences on the ocean, in battle and in jail.
Sailor Jerry’s model got here immediately out of that custom — albeit with extra polish and refinement — and lots of of these designs are nonetheless standard tattoos that individuals get in the present day.
“Anchors Aweigh,” the tattoo design set up, can be on show by way of Dec. 7 within the Robert E. White Gallery in Peabody Corridor on the Husson College campus in Bangor.