Since high school and before he had any tattoos, my friend Aaron has talked about becoming a tattoo artist. Since I started making films, I’ve wanted to document this craft against the unlikely backdrop of where we grew up: rural Norfolk.
After a particularly intense project, involving a series of international shoots I flew home for Christmas and went to visit Aaron at his new studio near Norwich. Building his own studio had been a dream of Aaron’s for several years and after a fraught process trying to gain planning permission he stumbled across Hellesdon Barns. The space, actually an old cow’s shed, is emblematic of the local area in many ways; from the low roof with long wooden beams, to the flint stone that is the region’s staple building material. For Aaron it felt just right.
Alongside his cousin Jake (a carpenter by trade, who is seen being tattooed in the video), Aaron refurbished the disused building and installed all the infrastructure needed for a fully functioning tattoo studio. With the place now open for business, I hung out with Aaron, Jake and Henry (Jake’s brother and Aaron’s apprentice), listened to Kurt Vile and drank a lot of tea just like old times. Here’s my portrait of a hidden gem: the tattooing art form in the most rural of settings.
Featuring: Aaron, Jake and Henry Skitmore
Music: Nicotine Blues by Kurt Vile (courtesy of the Free Music Archive)
Heres a short video of the shop from @tcottey he made over christmas, Tom did such a good job of capturing the shop and what we are all about here. Youl find the full length video on facebook, share, like and tag a friend for a chance to win a 140 pound voucher (link at the bottom) big thanks to Tom for making this for us. If your about the area and want to get a tattoo pop down and see us!! Message us or call and come get tattooed! Thanks for looking✌🏼️ @holdfast.tattoo https://www.facebook.com/tom.cottey.9/posts/10155578686983386 Music nicotine blues by @kurtvile courtesy of the free music archive #tattoo #tattooshop #tattooist #art #artist #norwich #norwichtattoo #hellesdonbarns