Expo makes its mark on tattoo artists

03 March 2014 - 02:00 By Bianca Capazorio

From birds and bunnies to baby pictures, with some warriors and dragons in between, Capetonians happily offered up their skins as canvas at the Cape Tattoo Expo held over the weekend.

Now in its sixth year, the expo, also known as Southern Ink Exposure, drew together local and international artists for a weekend of ink and art.

Over the constant buzz of busy tattoo machines, organiser of the expo, local tattoo artist Manuela Gray from Wildfire Tattoos, said she had travelled overseas for expos and wanted South Africans to attend similar events.

"In South Africa, tattooing is seen as this private world that people aren't really allowed access to,but this makes it almost like a live performance," she said.

New Orleans-based artist Jeremy Justice has been at all six of the Cape Town expos. He specialises in large-scale Japanese-style tattoos and was fully booked for the weekend.

"People e-mail me three or four months in advance to book," he said.

On Saturday, he was booked to finish a geisha and a samurai - both pieces he started at last year's expo.