Author(s): Deborah Hill
A bride's nose piercing on her wedding day, soldiers comparing their flash tattoos in the 1940s, face painting at a sporting match, a Yamatji woman's tattoo of the spirit of all Aboriginal women ...the meanings behind body art are as varied as the individuals who wear them. Body adornments and modifications are rarely applied without a story for the wearer and even more rarely do they go without eliciting a response. Documenting an array of contemporary and historical forms of altered bodies from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific in a collection of powerful images, this NLA publication sheds light on some of the more surprising parts of the collections at the National Library of Australia. Take a closer look at Body Art.