Ink in the Lines

National Exhibition Register

  • Ink in the Lines, installation view
    Ink in the Lines, installation view
    Image Credit
    An Australian War Memorial Touring Exhibition

About the exhibition

Behind every tattoo is a story.

The photographic exhibition Ink in the Lines 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 engages with contemporary acceptance and normalisation of tattoos, exploring why Australian service personel
get inked, and demonstrating how tattooing has become a significant part of Australia’s military history.

The flexible thematic structure allows the exhibition’s layout to be easily adapted to suit various exhibition spaces. Stunning
photographic portraits, interwoven with personal and emotional interviews from the portrait participants, create a thought
provoking experience which challenges assumptions about why people choose to get inked.

Ink in the lines covers 22 personal stories across all branches of the Australian Defence Force. The narrative is divided into four major themes: Identity & Belonging; Mateship & Family; Loss, Grief & Commemoration; and Healing. These themes collectively explain how and why tattooing has become an integral – and intricate – part of Australia’s military history.


Artists and Curator

Stephanie Boyle

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/07/2024 - 31/12/2026
Exhibition size
Between 75-100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Australian War Memorial
$4,000 (inc. freight)
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Exhibition Tour Manual, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Media Kit, Public Program Opportunities
Primary contact
Lea Barnett
Head of Exhibitions
Australian War Memorial
0427 971 260
Secondary contact
James Mazengarb
(02) 6263 6622
An Australian War Memorial Touring Exhibition