As part of their Festival of Hope Carlisle, the charity, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, has commissioned a young artist to create new content for a forthcoming exhibition.

Rosie Woolaghan was recently named winner of the EMERGE Visual Arts competition, organised by young artist and festival of hope producer, Chloe Waning.  This accolade won Rosie the opportunity to design a funded creative exhibit with Tullie House to explore themes from their upcoming exhibition.


Rosie Woolaghan, EMERGE competition and commission winner

Chloe Waning, Young Producer

Rosie’s work will feature in Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed.  This exhibition looks at the history of British tattoos, challenges preconceptions about tattooing and celebrates the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing as an art form in the UK.

Charli Summers, Programme Manager at Tullie House said, “We are delighted to be working with Rosie and to give her this opportunity to develop her artistic professional practice. We shall be guiding and supporting Rosie throughout the project and then showcasing her work within the museum gallery. The subject matter is so rich and interesting; it’s a wonderful challenge and opportunity for any young artist.”

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed focuses mainly on 20th and 21st century tattooing but this commission offers an opportunity to look further into the past and illuminate the earlier history of tattoos. During the 18th and 19th centuries, tattooing flourished in Britain like nowhere else in Europe. This was mostly due to the tradition of tattooing in the British Navy, which began with the first voyage of Captain Cook in 1769. Despite these royal and military connections, for centuries taboos attached to the practice have remained. Forced tattooing is one of the reasons why: historically, tattoos were used to mark slaves, criminals, and gladiators and so this stigma and its associations with slavery, colonialism and punishment are still deeply inherent.

Rosie Woolaghan’s new commission will provoke conversations about many of the issues related to early body art and identity.

Rosie Woolaghan, Winner of Emerge, Visual Arts Competition said “l’m super excited to be a part of this exhibition as the Emerge competition prize winner. The Tullie House team have been wonderfully lovely to work with so far and I am looking forward to producing some new work as well as researching into the themes presented in the exhibition to hopefully expand my knowledge of this incredibly diverse art practice. I am grateful to have been chosen for this position and hope that I do the brief justice!”

Lindsey Atkinson, Community and Young People Coordinator, Tullie House said “Rosie was selected for this commission because of her raw and sensitive response to the theme of hope and the way she has centred her own personal experience. Rosie’s animated entry ‘Places we go when we’re hurting’ – a rotoscope animation with looped image and sound - is both original and eye-opening. Rosie’s dynamic abilities are perfect for this brief, and I can’t wait to see her work within this major exhibition.”

'The place where we go when we are hurting' by Rosie Woolaghan

Tattoos: British Tattoo Art Revealed is curated by National Maritime Museum Cornwall and opens at Tullie House on Saturday 17 October 2020.

Visit to see Rosie’s competition entry, as well as the other incredible pieces of work shortlisted for the FESTIVAL OF Hope online exhibition.