Inked onto the skin of serving personnel, they are a symbol of belonging, a personal act of remembrance and an illustration of significant rites of passage and operational tours. They act as a permanent badge of the wearer’s experiences, triumphs and losses, and commemorate those who have sacrificed for their country. Those who serve in the Armed Forces belong to tribes who live together, work together and fight together.
For thousands of years, tribes have worn tattoos as a sign of belonging, and from Roman legionnaires to Nelsonian soldiers, body art has been an act of commemoration. This tradition is continued today, and tattoos feature within all tribes in the Armed Forces. Featuring photography portraits, first-hand testimonies and interactive discovery, Tribute Ink will explore how tattoo art has become an important part of the Armed Forces community, and will tell some of the fascinating stories hidden in military tattoos.