Abigail Cairns

Aby Cairns began tattooing by hand in 2016. She died in June 2018 from an aggressive T-cell lymphoma, but was tattooing her friends and family even in the last days before her death.

As well as practising as a tattoo artist, Aby was a massage therapist and a qualified midwife. For her, tattooing embodied the same spirit of quietly and calmly attending to her clients' needs and helping them to realise their vision.

Hand poked tattooing takes longer than working with a machine, but can be an enriching - even uplifting - experience in the right setting. Aby worked in a small, sunny studio space attached to her home in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

You can see some of Aby's work in her gallery. Although she will not be able to help, perhaps this will be useful if you're considering getting your own body art.

Calm, sunny aby