Tattoo Convention

Over the last weekend New Plymouth was host
to a Tattoo Convention.
Guest tattooists, many from other countries,
set themselves up in a local
stadium and visitors wandered through,
looking at their work,
chatting to this person and that.
It was an extremely friendly event.
Some visitors offered their
skin to the tattooists.
The photo below shows a Japanese
at work, using traditional methods.
He always had a large crowd of
observers around him.

And just in case you were wondering,
I don’t have any tattoos.

This afternoon I was in a clothes store in which they were rearranging their display. I was intrigued by an arm lying on the floor and couldn’t resist taking a snap. Later in the evening I went to an opening at the Govett-Brewster and Fiona Pardington was there. I took a photograph of her new tattoo, with my cameraphone, or camphone as I see them being called now. Good word I think.

The top photo I have included, not because it’s particularly interesting, but as an example of how I am drawn to limbs and fingers, and also how I use this particular composition over and over again. Usually the object will be coming into the frame from the right. I believe that we read photos from left to right so this is more likely to create a collision of sorts in the middle of the image. Whether Chinese read photos differently I don’t know, or does it have something to do with handedness and the way in which we scan the scene in front of us. If this is true I could be in trouble because although I was born left handed, in early life I was trained to use my right. In the past I have, by reversing negatives, experimented with printing photos in reverse, and the difference is very noticable.

Fiona has been a close friend for a long time and I’ve photographed her tattoos before. She designed this one herself based on her interest in traditional Maori art, and her interest in exploring her Maori identity.