Covered: Alan Powdrill Captures The Diversity Of Tattooed People

by . November 5th, 2015


It might be one of the oldest forms of art but the average person today still has a negative perception of tattoos.


Alex, 49: “Me mum wasn’t happy at all about the swallow on my hand so I said ‘Look mum it’s not like I’m on the street doing heroin.”


In a 2014 report of Valley Land Alliance, the respondents generally viewed people with tattoos as less attractive and less intelligent. Stereotypes such as promiscuity and heavy drinking are also attributed to tattoos. This perception is especially critical in the work place, where the traditional view of tattoos include non-professionalism.

The truth is people with tattoos are as diverse as non-tattooed people. This is what London-based photographer Alan Powdrill captured in his photo series Covered. 


Graham, 58: “I was 51 when I started and my father was already dead and my mum didn’t say anything as she was in the early stages of dementia.”


Kimmy, 29: “My Kiss tattoos are my favourites, the pain was incredible but it feels good to show my ultimate dedication to the band.”


Alan took two portraits of each subject, one clothed juxtaposed with another showing the full body tattoos they have accompanied by a caption provided by the subject.

Each subject would talk about their history and thoughts on tattoos, detailing what age they got their first tattoo or what their parents’s reactions was. I find it interesting that some of them were late-bloomers, getting their first tattoo as late as their 50s.


Bill, 59: “I love the fact I’m middle aged, have a professional job, am surrounded by straight people and I have ‘No Fucking Way’ tattooed on my chest.”


Michelle, 53: “Can’t say what age I’ll stop. While there’s still space to fill, It’ll get filled. I don’t think my attitude will ever change.”


Ness, 40: “I’m loving how they change as my body gets older and the creases and wrinkles change how they look When I’ve got no space below my neck I’ll stop.


Peter, 38: “They have given me confidence in life since my Crohn’s illness, I will love them in the future like I do now.”


Victoria, 37: “My tattoos are part of who I am and I’ll always love my bodysuit now and when I’m 80. The love I get for what I look like is what it’s all about.”


For the entirety of Covered and the rest of Alan Powdrill’s portfolio, check out his website.

What is your perception of tattoos? Comment below!


Kevin is a reader first, a writer second, and a gamer somewhere in between. When not rooting for Tyrion Lannister for the Iron Throne, he's probably writing some morbid short story. He enjoys some surreal art, clever advertising campaigns, and a warm cup of coffee while reading Murakami.