Auckland Tattoo Convention – http://aucklandtattoocon.co.nz
The Auckland Tattoo show was an eye opener. I have been attending tattoo conventions as well as putting them on for years. Great artists from New Zealand like Erin Chance and
Andy Swarbrick visit our show in Toronto. So when I had the chance to check out the Auckland show I was pretty stoked. Little did I know just how big tattooing was in New Zealand.
I have had a tattoo on my face from Tahitian tattooist
Po’oino Yrondi since 1998 and had become used to people staring at it. This was not the case in New Zealand. Even schoo
l children walk by you and don’t care you have a tattoo on your face. It is a part of culture here.
Tattooing, both the Maori traditional ethnographic imagery and the traditional western style abound, much to my delight. Elderly shopkeepers, both men and women as well as businessmen and women in suits will surprise you when they roll up their sleeves or, more often than not, you will see the tattoos displayed on forearms, necks, hands and faces. Yes, in New Zealand, Tattoo is truly part of culture and thank you for showing it to us. I think I am in love the place. If being a tattoo enthusiast isn’t a good enough reason to fall in love with New Zealand then the warmth and laid back attitude of the people that live here will definitely do that.
Pip Russell, Nehe, Paul Pagey and the whole Artrageous crew in Auckland were fantastic hosts and went the extra mile to make sure everyone was taken care of. After a month in China and a long flight south it was so nice to meet up with Bill Funk and his wife,the
fabulous Anna Paige to set up our booth alongside the Death Art Show. The show opened with a genuine Maori welcome ceremony at the ASB show grounds on Friday night while artists prepared their booths.
The tattoo show itself was Saturday and Sunday and packed a huge crowd. While people flocked in to check out work from the tattooists the promoters kept all of us entertained with everything from one of the top side show performers on the planet “Lucky Diamond Rich” to Polynesian dance troupes that performed the most gyrating moves for the crowds and eve
n got some of the attendants in on the act too. Marina Storme from Edmonton laid down a huge tattoo on Jimmy a tattooist form Guam, who sat like a champ while getting his entire upper thigh tattooed. Jason Stewart from Shinto Tattoos in Melbourne met up with us and did a great Dexter portrait at the show as well. The quality and variety of tattooing made it difficult to sit as a judge for the tattoo competitions. Bill
Funk was a great help with the judging and his experience and the help form his beautiful wife Anna Paige as well as her ability to tattoo and charm the locals made for an easy weekend at what was a super busy show.
It all went by so fast that the entire thing is a tattooed blur, but I am already looking forward to our next rip to New Zealand a true tattoo mecca from yesterday, today and tomorrow.