• Natalie


Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Adam McDade is a PHD student at the University of Sunderland and has studied there since his foundation year. For his PHD he is investigating and understanding enriching contemporary western tattoos. Alongside his PHD McDade works as a junior tattoo artist at triple six tattoo in Sunderland city centre in order to carry out his research. McDade began tattooing in 2017 as an apprentice and also is a content editor for END. Clothing in which he uses skills gained from his BA and MA in illustration and design. His practice is predominantly line work based and originated from linework portraits he would create. His more current influences include psychedelia and wood engravings and are far more stylised and graphic than his original pieces. For his PHD he’s researching tattoos from a design perspective rather than a social and cultural perspective which is far more common. He is focusing on contemporary western tattooing in the past 10 to 15 years but predominantly the past 5 years. He is also researching how tattoos are a more accessible art form for the masses and needles and ink are replacing paint and brushes. He is exploring how western tattooing is a dominant form of cultural consumption along with why academic research on tattoos is limited. He finds not academic texts more relevant to his work but they are far more glamorised and is interested by the effects of Instagram on tattooing. The culture of tattoo shops themselves interest him, from the hierarchy of artists to how the nature of tattoos makes them inherently collaborative. McDade also tries to draw with his none dominant hand then fixes his pieces with his dominant hand in order to change his style. McDade also intends to research over the next several years of his PHD, dynamics of power and vulnerability, artists vs crafts person, compromising practice in order to gain client base and an investigation of tattooing as an art medium rather than a phenomena.

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