Skin Sin tells the history of tattooing skin in Fremantle, from convict times through to the 1980s. This history includes the illicit work done by prisoners of Fremantle Prison, such as well-known local tattoo artist Bobby Thornton. The exhibition is also a personal reflection on the art and cultural practice of tattooing by tattoo artist Ricky Luder.

Skin Sin showcases unseen works from Ricky Luder’s private collection spanning almost 50 years of collecting. These include a rare suite of 1960s Australian tattoo flash from Cindy Ray, a piece of tattooed human skin, photographs and newspaper articles spanning the Australian tattoo history from the 1930s to the 1980s. Also on display are tattoo apparatus made and used at Fremantle Prison and photographs from the Fremantle Prison collection.

This event is being held as part of the 2018 Fremantle Heritage Festival

Opening - 26th of May 2018 at 5:00pm

Join Five Star Tattoo shop and owner Ricky Luder and the Arts Hustler as they open a show of unseen works from Ricky’s private collection, spanning almost 50 years. There will be a rare suite of 1960’s Australian flash from Cindy Ray on display. The exhibition will also include photographs spanning Australian tattoo history from the 1930s to the 1980s, old tattoo machines made in prisons in WA, a piece of tattooed human skin, old flash sheets, historic tattoo objects and old newspaper articles that trace the history of tattooing in Fremantle from convicts, to scrimshaw, to the Vietnam war.

Small groups will also be able to see Bobby Thornton’s cell and explore the connection between the Fremantle Prison and the oldest commercial art form in WA. 

Enter the raffle (drawn at 5.15pm) to choose one of these iconic Australian designs to be tattooed onto the Arts Hustler’s body – LIVE on opening night!

Associated event:

Death Before Dishonour - Walking Tour with Five Star Tattoo Shop owner Ricky Luder

26th of May 2018 at 3:00pm until 4:30pm

Join the Arts Hustler in collaboration with Fremantle tattoo icon, self-taught historian, practitioner, collector and business owner Ricky Luder on an exploration of the untold, undocumented history of the oldest commercial art form in Fremantle—tattooing.

Ricky Luder has been on his own personal quest for knowledge since he was eight years old. Ricky’s obsession spans decades of travel, collecting, researching, business management and mentoring, all while practicing the art of tattooing.  On this walking tour, you will learn engaging stories about the history of WA that you won’t find in most books.

Join us as we walk from High Street to Fremantle Prison, stopping at the sites of the oldest tattoo shops, the Ugly Land Carnival, and iconic places that relate to the post-war, convict and whaling history of the Port City.


Meet at Five Star Tattoo Shop Manning Arcade 8/121 High Street. Fremantle WA 6160