Artist Abby Nowakowski tattoos a rose on Rowena Whey at Agnes.
we are magic: a love letter to our tattoos
Abby Nowakowski
1 December 2023–28 March 2024
ON-SITE: Atrium Project Space

Exhibition Celebration

1 December 2023

Members’ Preview, 5–6 pm
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Public Reception, 6–9 pm
Party and music with Kingston-based DJ Kid Koncussion, 7:30–9 pm

Curated by Charlotte Gagnier, Program Coordinator

“From conversations with close friends and clients, I have come to know that there’s a shared experience when getting tattooed: with every new piece, we feel closer and closer to our true selves. I consider this transformative shift magic. It has the capacity to not only change our own interpretation of ourselves but also of others, a small form of shapeshifting. We can protect ourselves with tattoos; hold onto fond memories; mark moments of survival; and honour our identities. With our tattoos, we can dream up better and more radical futures, where our skin tells stories and casts spells.” — Abby Nowakowski

In we are magic: a love letter to our tattoos, printmaker and tattoo artist Abby Nowakowski transforms Agnes’s Artist Project Space into a greeting place for folks who feel intimidated by the parlour tattoo industry and a space for radical softness. Whether you’re here for a tattoo appointment, to read through tattoo love letters, or to receive an offering of a temporary tattoo, this space has room for you.

Drawing on ideas of trauma-informed care and tattooing as liberation work, Nowakowski is inspired by and refers to contemporary artist and oral historian Tamara Santibañez.

Abby Nowakowski (she/they) is a queer interdisciplinary artist and art educator currently living and working in Sharbot Lake and Katarokwi-Kingston. Through printmaking, illustration and handpoke tattooing, they spread advocacy for care, share stories, and make space for radical softness. Abby is drawn to the gentler pace of handpoke and takes a trauma-informed approach to tattooing which has fostered a safer and more empowering experience for clients. Driven by curiosity and kindness, their practice extends into art facilitation with a range of collaborations, workshops, and performances which radiate from queer ecologies and friendships.

Hero image: Abby Nowakowski tattoos a rose on Rowena Whey at Agnes. Photo: Garrett Elliott
Portrait of Abby Nowakowski. Photo: Garrett Elliott

Portrait of Abby Nowakowski. Photo: Garrett Elliott

Production support for we are magic: a love letter to our tattoos provided through the OAC Exhibition Assistance Program.
We are proud to announce that J.J.M. Investment Group CIBC Wood Gundy is the sponsor for Agnes’s exhibitions and related programs this season.
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