29 January 2012


Why is this world is so appealing? I suspect that heavily inked people are not so much rebelling, as embracing the fact that they never fitted comfortably into everyday society anyway. Maybe I shouldn't have read The Electric Michaelangelo, realised that even the most menacing symbols are part of a rich and old language, most representing tolerance, love and a wry appreciation of life and death. Southern Ink Xposure, the fourth Cape Town International Tattoo Convention, also reminded me that this is a community devoted to aesthetics and body appreciation, and despite a hot and crowded venue with an all day bar, full of happily different couples, families and friends, and far more genuinely, warmly well mannered than the book-sale patrons I encountered that morning.

Milo Marcer (Mr Lucky Tattoos, Cape Town) drawing on a design.

Hipster girl being tattood by Ross Turpin of Star Crossed Tattoo (Hong Kong). In case you're wondering, her right arm says 'ARISE AND SHINE. Your Light Has Come.'

Rosana aka Dermadonna (Amsterdam)








These batshit crazy girls were doing all kinds of upside down, hanging from insecure-looking foothold, mid-air flick-flacks five metres above a tiled concrete floor. Some serious muscle suggests that their careless grace was based on a lot of practice, but I was still relieved when it was over.





Tattoo-related art appreciators

I didn't actually check what this stall was all about but from the hat I'm assuming it's Manic Panic of NYC, purveyors of hair colours unlikely to be available at your local salon.

Yes ladies, Cape Town really is full of men that look like this.



Skulls and spikes and chains fall in love just like everyone else. Well, as long as you also like skulls and spikes and chains. And black. And maybe classical music. He has the long right hand fingernails of a guitarist.

Proudly Cape Town - African penguin, King Protea, sea, Table Mountain et al. I think it's bloody awesome and graphic just like that, but apparently the colouring still has to be done.




  1. So...did you come away some tingling skin?

    Seriously beautiful images.

    1. No, waaaaay too much of a control freak, it'll probably take me ages to figure out what I want. But I did confirm that The Body Architects are where I'll go when I go.

      And thank you.

  2. I know what I want, but still searching for the tattoo artist who can draw the most perfectly straight line.
    photographs to make the heart flutter. the girl with the bows...

    1. Mmmm, that's the problem with tattoos, for those of use with perfectionist streaks, it takes a lot of trust.

      There were lots of sights to make the heart flutter. It really stood out how really genuine and nice the people were, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice the boatloads of eye candy too.

  3. Lily, where would you put yours? I used to want espressos on my feet but I gather feet are terrible places for ink as it sloughs off.

  4. espressos?

    inside of lower left arm - between wrist and elbow. I draw it there once in a while, with a khoki.
    if the lines where dodgy it would drive me insane.