Ink in the Lines

Behind every tattoo is a story. Ink in the Lines, a touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial, shares the stories of Australia's military veterans through their tattoos. 

Ink in the Lines steps outside the chronological military history narrative in favour of a thematic structure that portrays the deeply personal wartime experiences of Australian men and women through the medium of their tattoos. Each tattoo is as personal and unique as the story it conveys. 

The exhibition covers 22 personal stories across all branches of the Australian Defence Force.

The narrative is divided into four major themes: Identity and Belonging; Mateship and Family; Loss, Grief, and Commemoration; and, Healing. These themes collectively explain how and why tattooing has become an integral - and intricate - part of Australia's military history.

Image: Australian War Memorial
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Ink in the Lines