Adele Houston:Body Art


The Purpose of this portfolio is to exhibit a small chapter of some of the many different ideas that go into tattooing. With the photos I collected I wanted to give insight into the stories of how and why these tattoos came to be, and what they mean to their owners.

Anyone with a tattoo I’m sure, at some stage has been posed the questions: “So, what made you decide to get it done?” and “Do you regret it?”

I wanted to explore this. Do the stigmas and people’s perceptions of tattooing affect the individual? Are all tattoos created in a passion of self expression, portraying a story of the soul? Are tattoos merely by association a fun and rebellious way to annoy your parents? What drives people to not only stick needles into their body to create art, but to make the final decision as to what the picture is?

To sum it up: this portfolio aims to be a perfect starting point for anyone considering taking the plunge and getting a permanent ink design on their skin, and for anyone who has – or know someone who has a tattoo.

I want to tell my story in an almost catalogue style. Imagine perhaps you’re in a tattoo parlour and flipping through the tattoo artist’s book of work to get ideas.

Either white or black background for the photos were required – as is appropriate for tattoo industry so as not to distract from colour schemes. Disclaimer: I am pro-tattooing, so this portfolio will indulge a more positive attitude.

My question:

“What does your tattoo mean to you?”


Jess: “Mine is a swallow. I got it in London, It represents travel and freedom to me. When I researched it I found out that sailors used to get swallow tattoos when they had travelled a certain distance away from home.”

Annie: “ I got mine on schoolies. I wanted to half show I was a tough bitch to my friends, but I also like the idea that a woman doesn’t need to be rich to have a diamond.”

Amy: “I have never kept a diary, but my tattoos are my own version of a diary. Each one means something different and I can always call on them (the tattoos) to remind me of different times and emotions in my life.”


Adele’s blog:


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