From the body to the wall: An exhibition at last for Leeds’ tattoo designer

Olivia-Fayne Lamb.
Olivia-Fayne Lamb.
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A FORMER Leeds College of Art student whose intricate tattoo designs have gained her an Instagram following of more than 105,000 will open her first solo exhibition in London this weekend.

Custom tattoo designs by Olivia-Fayne Lamb, who is originally from Roundhay, are in such high demand from around the world she has a 24- week waiting list, and she’s even had a collaboration with iconic footwear brand Dr Martens.

But the solo exhibition, at Hoxton Arches in London, is the first time her paintings and designs will have been displayed to the public.

Olivia-Fayne, 25, who has been working from a studio in the capital for the last two years, told the YEP she was inspired to put on the exhibition after seeing an artist friend exhibit at the venue.

“It was pretty spontaneous,” she said. “I had never planned to put on an exhibition as it’s not something I thought I’d be able to do. My following is all on social media and so my work hasn’t really been seen ‘in real life’ before.

“It has taken nine months to get everything together and there has been a lot made especially for the exhibition.”

Olivia-Fayne working on her collaboration with Dr Martens.

Olivia-Fayne working on her collaboration with Dr Martens.

On display will be a “mishmash” of custom designs that have gone down well on her social media pages, large scale paintings and even a 1952 Morris Minor car, which she has hand painted with her mandala designs.

She will also use the exhibition, which is entitled ‘Permanent Reminder’, to launch her first ever homewares collection, which includes incense holders and hipflasks.

Oliva-Fayne describes her style as taking inspiration from mandalas, Khmer and mehndi art. Mandalas are repetitive, geometric patterns that appear in many cultures, but particularly in Hinduism and Buddhism and represent the universe.

While she doesn’t tattoo herself, Olivia-Fayne works with her clients to come up with unique custom tattoos, with the designs shared with the client on chat app Snapchat as they evolve to prevent the work being stolen or copied.

The Morris Minor that will be at the exhibition.

The Morris Minor that will be at the exhibition.

Once the design is complete, the client will download it and take it to their chosen tattoo artist.

“When I put a design together I take from a lot of different influences, including mehndi, mandala and vintage floral designs,” she said.

“People have always said to me, ‘I’d love to see your work up on a wall’ - but I’ve never had the confidence for an exhibition until now.

“Now they can.”

Preparing for the exhibition has been very busy, she says, with a lot of the final pieces evolving as they come together.

Olivia-Fayne joked: “I’m pretty clumsy and make mistakes - so each piece has come out completely different to how I initially planned it.”

Her paintings, wall hangings and homewear will be on sale at the exhibition in London this Friday and Saturday, which will feature a performance by singer song-writer Newton Faulkner on Saturday night.

She will also be drawing live, adding to a Morris Minor care she has already painted designs on to.

To see more of Olvia-Fayne’s designs, check out her pages on Instagram or Facebook.

Pictures and Video: Isobel Saunders

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