Issue 8


It all started earlier this year when I met the artist and sculptor Ruth Marten in New York, after an introduction by our very own Adam Dant. Ruth has had an illustrious career and counts Charles Saatchi and L.A. legend Don Ed Hardy among her many collectors. Her second solo UK exhibition, The Birds, will be at the John Marchant Gallery in Farringdon from 7-30th September – inspired by Ruth’s desire to fly away from the US after last year’s abysmal election and its aftermath.

But it was only when I found out that Ruth was one of the first female tattoo artists in the early 70s, championing what came to be called ‘neo-tribalism’, that this issue’s theme came to fruition. This ‘Tattoo’ issue starts off with our stunning cover, a tattooed lady hand-drawn by Si Scott, before heading inside for academic and art historian Dr Matt Lodder’s profile of a legendary West End tattoo artist, Alf South. We also hear from art historian Lucy Moore about the tattoos of the eighteenth century, namely beauty spots. Can you name the U.S. burlesque legend who has one of these tattooed to her face?

Elsewhere we explore other forms of beauty, including a look at the interiors that Edward Bulmer has created for Andrew Lloyd Webber at the renovated Theatre Royal. Sticking with interiors, we also get a first look at the newly refurbished Simpson’s in the Strand.

This issue marks our second anniversary, and we were thrilled in this special issue to welcome the wonderful actor and presenter Christopher Biggins to share his wisdom on the very best of the coming season’s West End shows.
Finally, I urge you to keep visiting Covent Garden – the beating heart of our brilliant capital.

P.S. Don’t miss our @thecoventgardener Instagram campaign with the exceptional @dollytreasures, whose tattooed Little Mischiefs will be touring Covent Garden. Look out for fun competitions and fabulous prizes including Dior master-classes, a cut and colour at Vidal Sassoon, tickets to the London Tattoo Convention, and plenty more.



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