Tattoos in the Museum of London and 40 years of Punk

Discover everything about the subculture of London

One of the nicest things to do in London is for sure to take advantage of the overload of culture this city has to offer. My last trip to London took me to the Museum of London to see a cool exhibition about tattoos. This exhibition is part of a wide selection of events celebrating the 40 years of Punk in London.

Even tho it was a short time exhibition and it is no longer there, some of the artwork is now part of the Museum of London’s permanent archive. And it is always cool to see tattoo artists getting the credit for their beautiful work, right?

The Tattoo London expo at Museum of London was amazing

Even though it was a modest thing, with only 4 artists showing their work, it was super worth the visit. And if you missed, I’ll show you everything here. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to experience and learn everything, just click on the photos and they will go bigger.

The whole exhibition was in a single room. One wall dedicated to the history of this art form, another for the 4 artists and a video showing their life.

Each of the 4 tattoo artists had a display showing their style, some photos and the final piece done for the Museum of London. Each has created an original artwork inspired by their experience of London for the exhibition.

Alex Binnie at Into You, Lal Hardy at New Wave, Mo Coppoletta at The Family Business and  Claudia de Sabe at Seven Doors have all opened the doors to their London-based studios.

The exhibition went from January to May and it was part of the major celebration London is having of Punk’s anniversary. If you’re not aware, in 2016 punk is turning 40! And the whole city – the whole country – is celebrating it with shows, art, exhibition and more.

So if you’re planning your trip to London this year, please make sure you end up going to one (or some) of those events:

Punk 1976-78 at the British Library: 13 May to 19 September 2016

Lets start with the impact of the the ultra famous Sex Pistols in 1976, guys! This exhibition will explore the beginning of punk in the England’s capital and reveal how its remarkable influence spread across music, fashion, print and graphic styles nationwide. Did I mention this exhibition is free? Well, it is!

It will showcase a variety of flyers, fanzines, recordings and record sleeves from the British Library’s collections and some rare material from the Jon Savage Archive at Liverpool John Moores University. Punk 1976-78 aims to celebrate the major influence of punk as a radical culture, musical, artistic and political movement.

Punk Weekender at The Photographers’ Gallery: 23-26 June 2016

The Punk Weekender consists of an exhibition of iconic images from photographers Anita Corbin, Derek Ridgers and the PYMCA Archive. Plus an exclusive performance from punk legends The Raincoats. There will be also talks and events commemorating the spontaneity, spirit and diversity of this culture and its existence within Soho.

Discover how the DIY (Do It Yourself) spirit led to a range of punk subcultures and the creation of personal identity and expression for loads of youngsters.

Stoke Newington Literary Festival: 3-5 June 2016

This one is about Britain’s most influential writers and cultural commentators. Also this festival will look at Hackney’s role in the birth of the punk movement. Sid Vicious and Malcolm McLaren were from Stoke Newington.

In this festival you’ll see the relationship between reggae, ska, punk and how those sounds became so influential in fashion, design, movies, politics and more.

Punk Fest at the Design Museum: 25 and 26 June 2016

With this memorable institution sadly closing its Shad Thames doors this year, what better way to end than hosting a Punk Fest for this 40 year anniversary? Two full days of artistic and creative disruption to celebrate of one of London’s most singular design movements. Two days filled with workshops, music, spoken word and other events for the last weekend of this amazing museum. They will even host a fanzine-making workshop!

Rough Trade 40 in-store and venue gigs: March to October 2016

The Rough Trade shop opened its doors in 1976 and became a true cornerstone of punk. Rough Trade is a label, a shop, independent distributor, radical meeting place and much, much more. In honor of Rough Trade’s 40th anniversary, they will host a series of collaborative events, commemorating the participatory camaraderie of both the shop and punk’s original spirit.

Punk fashion exhibition at London Collections: Men: 10 -13 June 2016

This one if about fashion and the aesthetic of punk and its influence throughout the years.

Major magazines like Dazed and i-D kinda owes something to this youth rebellious movement called punk. Its influence can be seen everywhere from Vogue to Vice. And lets now forget how predominant it was in collections from Alexander McQueen to Katie Eary.

Punk Weekender at the Roundhouse: 9 and 10 July 2016

Almost 40 years ago, my favorite punk band EVER, the Ramones, played their famous gig at the Roundhouse. There will be two days of music and spoken word in honor of the vitality and energy of punk.

World-class poetry, prose and music can be found at this Punk Weekender’s program. A program designed to celebrate the legacy and continuing influence of Punk in Britain’s history.

And I think it is important to say that it will include a Women in Punk day in partnership with the British Library. How cool is that? We’re usually under appreciated in this men’s world, right grrrrls? Not here.

Punk display at the Museum of London – June and July 2016

Another one for Museum of London and this one is still yet to happen. So if you don’t have plans for the summer, now you do!

This one will be a an awesome display of clothes, fanzines, photographs and ephemera focusing on the quotidian and highlighting the cultural expression that came to define punk.

Early in 2016 the Museum of London worked with Central Saint Martin’s students to find surviving punk objects to add to the museum’s existing collection. In other words: Not to be missed!

Don Letts presents Punk on Film at BFI Southbank: August 2016

Throughout the month of August, BFI Southbank will host a season of movies curated by the film director, DJ and musician Don Letts.

This selection will draw the much needed attention to the diversity of the punk movement through a broad range of archive footage and documentaries. There will also be a special African Odysseys event highlighting the intersections between the Jamaican music scene and punk.

With some rarely seen on the big screen, the BFI Southbank’s PUNK season will be a highlight in this huge PUNK London celebrations.

The full programme for the season can be found here http://www.bfi.org.uk/punk.

Those are just some of the events that will take place in London in 2016, but the whole spectrum of it can be found at Punk.London. You can also follow the hashtag #PunkLondon on twitter, instagram and facebook to get to know a bit more about punk, find out the spots, see some photos and videos and check out what everybody’s doing.

If you have any questions or need any kind of help to plan your trip to London, please leave a comment here on this post or reach me at our facebook group.


This post is only possible thanks to the wonderful help of Visit Britain and the most amazing hotel in London, the W Hotel in Leicester sq. From all the times I went to London, I never slept so well. No joke.

This hotel is so fantastic and so well located that I have no words to describe it. Besides, for this 40 year anniversary of Punk in London, W Hotel prepared loads of perks for its guest. If you want a punk themed stay in London, check them out. Click here to find the best price.


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