Announcement: Lacey Law Exhibition & Workshop
The Tattoo Collective are thrilled to welcome Norwich-based printmaker Lacey Law to The Old Truman Brewery, March 17th-18th.
Lacey Law will be exhibiting a series of her tattoo-inspired prints, and will also be teaching a woodcut printing workshop for a lucky few to learn the tricks of the trade.
This week, The Tattoo Collective caught up with Lacey to find out more about her work and passion for tattooing…
What sparked your interest in woodcut printing, and why did you choose to specialise in this medium?
I did a little lino-printing in college (about 8 years ago), but in my early years of Illustration at the Norwich University of Arts, we were told to keep our options open and try everything until the ‘third year epiphany’, when you finally figure out what you want to do after Uni. My epiphany was a return to relief print, specifically woodcut. I’d always had a love of craftsmanship and woodwork, and I felt that to master wood, even in a 2 dimensional form, would be a real skill.
I actually had the ‘why wood?’ conversation with Alex Binnie (‘Into You’ tattoo studio founder and print artist) recently, who simply summed it up by saying ‘it’s just more romantic, isn’t it?’ – and he’s not wrong, that’s totally why!
When and where did you learn to print?
One of my art-school tutors, Neil Bousefield, is a printmaker who held a small workshop in my second year and I think this set the seed – but it was Alex Binnie’s woodcut prints that really made me fall in love with the medium. I’d only seen the tiny, intricate woodcuts of landscapes up until this point. His portraits blew my mind and showed me what else could be possible with this medium. From that point I was self-taught; I learned from experimenting with the material, and watching other printmakers on Instagram and YouTube. I threw myself in at the deep end by making an A0 woodcut for my graduation show in 2015. This was my first woodcut print.
Your works often feature tattoo-inspired designs. What sparked your interest in tattoos, and did any artists in particular stand out for you when you discovered the art-form?
I was naturally drawn to tattoos just like any other quiet, alternative kid with confidence issues! Tattoos were an irresistible means of owning oneself. No artists in particular stood out to me back then, I just loved it all, good and bad, because I didn’t know the difference then! I’d always been creative, so tattooing naturally became the dream, but I also figured out pretty quickly that it doesn’t happen for everyone – I knew I needed to take that creative drive and let it motivate me in another skill.
I have learnt so much about tattooing through my printmaking. The two are connected throughout history, especially as Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints directly inspired most traditional Japanese tattoo iconography. It’s for this reason that most of my current work is inspired by Japanese tattoos, it’s like taking the tattoos back to their roots.
Aside from tattooing, what inspires you or influences your work?
Aside from tattoo imagery, I’m very inspired by Renaissance art and Art-Nouveau. I’ve been over to Paris for ‘Le Mondial du Tatouage’ for the last three years, but the trips are increasingly more focused on sight-seeing, soaking up all the architecture and sculpture in the cemeteries and in Versailles. I like to think this influence comes through in some of my work! My degree show was inspired by a bronze sculpture from the V&A Museum, of a nymph from Greek mythology called Clytie, but I even ended up covering her in sunflower tattoos – there’s no escape!
You have recently embarked on a tattoo apprenticeship; how have you found your initial experiences with tattooing?
To actually pick up a tattoo machine after thinking about it and allowing it to influence my work for so long is pretty crazy! I’m grateful that my journey has happened this way, I have confidence in my work now and immense trust in the people I work with, especially in my friend and tutor Gema Gold. I’m very lucky. I had hoped some of the skills would be transferable, the design aspect and experience in pulling straight lines; but I’m completely retraining my muscles and mind!
What kind of work would you like to create in future?
It’s hard to know what kind of work I’ll end up doing as my influences are so broad, but I know I want to work in colour, and what I’m currently passionate about is Japanese tattooing. The tattoo artists who inspire me most are Claudia De Sabe and Alix Ge, they can both execute a Japanese bodysuit or a Renaissance face with equal skill, whilst maintaining their own style. You can look at either of their works and know immediately that it’s theirs. They’re both also immaculately skilled in other mediums, which is important to me. For me, being able to turn your hand to a multitude of media and create something beautiful is the most commendable skill of all.
Don’t miss the chance to view Lacey Law’s beautiful work at The Tattoo Collective, March 17th-18th at The Old Truman Brewery.
For further details on how to apply for Lacey Law’s woodcut printing workshop at the show, please email – spaces are extremely limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Discounted tickets are available to workshop participants.