Update 28th March 2017:
Today VICELAND released a new trailer for their upcoming tattoo TV series with Grace Neutral and I am buzzing about it.
Needles & Pins will document the journey of tattoo artist Grace as she travels the world to explore different tattoo cultures. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, New Zealand, Japan and the UK, viewers will meet artists and individuals truly pushing the boundaries of art, those embracing and re-inventing what it means to be part of a tattooed community.
Tattoo enthusiasts of the world… prepare to finally learn shit loads about tattooing – its fascinating history, infinite forms, and important status within different cultures all across the globe. I’m so excited to tune-in.
The tattoo documentaries that VICE has aired so far have been insightful, and Grace’s recent South Korea piece was inspirational and eye-opening.
Positive, motivational and truthful TV programmes are considered increasingly rare in the tattoo industry. As the Inkluded community has discussed previously, the representations of tattoos on our screens (up until now) have been focused on entertainment via humorous or shocking stories. Are VICE finally answering our prayers?!
“I feel like a lot of those programmes are mockery shows, so it’s more about poking fun at people’s tattoo mistakes. It’s a bit of a sideshow,” tattooist and presenter Grace Neutral told the Evening Standard in a recent interview.
Reflecting on Needles & Pins, she said: “I just wanted to make something honest and true to what I know of tattooing. The important thing for me is educating yourself on where these markings come from and why they originated in the first place. Then decide if that still strikes a chord with you, you know? Rather than just doing it for aesthetics.”
Described as a “new TV channel for and by young people curious about life right now”(1), VICELAND never fails to deliver when it comes to offering us stories that are compelling, intellectually-stimulating and simultaneously respectful towards the sacred nature of many artforms.
The creators are simply calling this new project “a TV show that’s all about tattoos and people with tattoos”.
Sounds pretty damn groundbreaking to me.
Needles & Pins begins February 22 on VICELAND – Sky 153.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Images: As credited
Sources: (1) A516Digital