Intrigued by the diverse stories behind tattoos, Melina Merlin set out to pursue a project that centers around tattooed women and the stories they have to tell. For Under My Skin, Melina involved nineteen tattooed women whose tattoos and accounts will be exhibited at the Forest Gate Arts Trail in London.
In the course of almost a year, Melina Merlin and her team interviewed and went on photo shoots with tattooed women who were willing to bare their skin and the reasons why they chose to have their skin marked—or vandalized, depends on which bigot you're asking.
‘A bit of the soul is on the outside,’ Melina shared to Newham Recorder, when asked why she herself got tattooed. ‘I reclaim my body through my ink.’
‘One woman says she feels like she heals when the tattoo heals. It is very meditative and that is part of the process,’ Melina commented about other individuals' reasons for their tattoos, adding that it's also for the adrenaline rush to some.