Currently reading : Swallow and Daggers new zine ‘In God We Trust’ opens at Sang Bleu London tonight !

Swallow and Daggers new zine ‘In God We Trust’ opens at Sang Bleu London tonight !

20 August 2015

Author : reba

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Swallows and Daggers is the tattoo blog and streetwear brand originating in Galway, Ireland. After seeing the rise and commercialisation of the tattoo industry the blog has come round full circle, originating as a zine, going into a blog and now its created another zine titled ‘In God We Trust’ . Here at Sang Bleu London we are hosting the launch for the zine with an exhibition. We spoke to the founder Cian Mac an tSaoir to find out more about this new publication.
Can you tell us what the zine is about?
The zine is the first of hopefully many art zines, each one focusing on a different theme or image. This particular one is focused on religious iconography and is entitled In God We Trust with the artists interpreting this statement how they wish.
Why are you going back into print after all of these years?
Since our tattoo newspaper I’ve really wanted to get back into print but I didn’t want to go back to a large editorial zine. The old magazines content was more suited to a blog and I think since we’ve moved in that direction it’s really helped deliver superior content to our blog and website. The zine is really a reaction to how expensive a lot of the tattoo books that are coming out are, these elaborate productions with two hundred artists costing hundreds of pounds I really wanted to deliver something high quality and yet affordable to our readers in a more approachable format that I wouldn’t have to rely on foreign production for.
How have you gone about curating the work by tattooers that will be on show?
When it came to picking artists I really just tried to get people who’s work I respected and that I felt were doing something interesting. This just so happened to offer a great cross section of genders, nationalities and approaches to the subject matter. For me the priority was getting those who I felt were turning out artwork of real merit over those who were popular right now or fitting within a particular grouping.
Why does the theme of religion interest you?
Despite being an atheist I’ve always loved religious artwork and have a Jesus head tattooed on my neck. The imagery from Catholic churches (which are hard to avoid growing up in Ireland) has always stuck with me, my local church had a series of paintings around it breaking the crucifixions down into stages and they were in a lot of ways some of my earliest exposure to art.
Why did you start Swallows and Daggers, and how do you feel tattooing has changed since you did?
I started Swallows&Daggers out of boredom having just dropped out of university. There were tattoo blogs out there at the time but I was really drawn to traditional tattoos and focused in on them as the sole topic of the blog. It was a niche within a niche so it was really unexpected that it got any interest at all. It was on a free blogspot.com blog and for me it was just a means of filling the days with no income and living in a very rural part of Ireland with no transport links. Things have changed drastically since then, I was using MySpace to find artists and I definitely see the emergence of Facebook and more importantly Instagram as the beginning of a boom in tattooers adoption of social media and I think that in turn has opened up the doors to more travel.
Could you give us an example of the work that you’ve featured in the zine which you think are interesting?
I found every piece interesting but I think stuff that stood out for me would be Gary Royals which I’m still not sure how he did, perhaps painting over a photocopied church, Josh Sutterbys super classic take on a traditional Jesus head and Sways simple, stylistic take on the subject matter.
All the original paintings will be on display at Sang Bleu London this evening.Drinks provided by Jameson Irish Whiskey and älska cider

Sound by Stag Music & Dan Savidge

7-10pm. August 20th

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