The Perth Tattoo Carnival swung into action with much fanfare on Friday 28 May, at the Perth Convention Centre. Organised by the Professional Tattooing Association of Australia (PTAA), the Carnival is Perth’s inaugural tattoo carnival.
I must admit to an intense fascination with tattoos and the men and women who wear ink in their skin. Once the province of people who inhabited the fringes of “polite society”, adorning oneself with skin art has long moved into the mainstream. A cursory look at the Carnival was testimony of this: there was certainly a variety of ink on display, from dudes and dudettes sporting a Celtic or Oriental motif on their arm or ankle, to tattoo veterans, male and female, with their entire bodies sheathed in skin art.
While the Carnival affords plenty of opportunity to view and document tattoo work occurring in a range of stalls by local and national artists, the highlight for me was the competition where men and women vied for prizes in a categories ranging from “Most Realistic Portrait” to “Full Body Tattoos”.
At the judging area, contestants proudly showed off their skin work to judges, before marching up on stage and posing down for the very appreciative audience.There were inks on young, svelte forms, on tough, toned bodies, on thick, heavyset physiques, and on wrinkled, gnarled skin. The breadth and variety of the tattooed knew no bounds, and truly reflects the extent to which this unique form of personal art has been embraced by Australian society.
Complimenting the contest was a makeshift studio manned by my mate, Bruce Jorgensen of Wild Child Studios in Bunbury, which gave competitiors the opportunity to be photographed in their inked glory.
Here are more pictures of the colours and characters of the Carnivaal!