VISIBILITY Magazine Issue 02. (April 2017) - Page 16

I was 16 when I got my first tattoo. My friend took me to a sound proof music room at our boarding school and poke by poke gave me my first ink. I wanted some- thing to symbolize the end of a period of strug- gle for me, and to remind me of the anxiety that came with convincing myself that I was stuck in that space. That night in my sophomore year of high school, I got a delta tattooed on my shoulder, a per- manent symbol to remind me that change will always come. Looking back, getting my first tattoo was a rite of passage for me in which I came out with a sense of confidence to be my own agent for the change in my life. For this project, I wanted to take photographs of tattoos of people at Swarthmore because like ink on paper, tattoos write a hidden story of their own. Like photographs, there is an unspoken narrative with tattoos. Sometimes the story is hidden and revealed so some, but for others their story is for everyone to see. Tattoos invite other people to question the art we chose to permanently take with us everywhere we go and inquire about our decision to use our body as a canvass for art. For those I photographed, their tattoos were a decision to create something beautiful and a reminder of a previous time in their life load- ed with feelings of grief, struggle, mistakes, happi- ness, excitement and anxiety. To those I photographed, thank you for sharing you ink with me. INK’D 9 RCIA S GA JAME