It's getting so that you can't see a trend setting London lass bend over these days without a scrawl of tribal swirls rising above the thong line, just daring you to ask: Is that a Hawaiian?.
No longer is it socially unacceptable to have I love my Mum inked across your arse, although you might be staying single for a while. These days you can't walk through a park on a hot day without noticing how we've turned our bodies in to one giant colouring book. And although the reasons for wanting to feel the sharp, clean jab of the needle jumping through the skin are many: it's rebellious, it's cool, standing out, fitting in, social discourse, social anthropology, it was Thursday and you had a spare £50, whatever; it's never been a more acceptable time to explore your inner tribal self since Captain Cook returned from his hols in Tahiti with some saucy postcards and a new set of face paints.
Sounds like time for a good ol' convention then. This year sees the first London International Tattoo Convention which takes place at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane from October 7th to the 9th. As well as over 150 specially chosen artists who'll be mixing their inks for the weekend there'll be an art fusion event - different artists working together to create collective pieces (on canvas though, not skin), history, photography, paintings, and demonstrations of more traditional tattooing methods - the ones that REALLY hurt. And on top of that it'll be more or less a living art exhibit where you can be as much a part of what's on show as what's hanging on the walls.
Biohazard's Evan Seinfeld will be on hand as 'Godfather' for the convention and although his wife Tera Patrick (she does those movies that you can't rent in Blockbusters) will no doubt bring in a fair number of the dirty raincoat brigade we don't think she's going to have a great deal of hassle judging by the pics of Evan we've seen.
Day and weekend tickets are available from here for those of you who are in any way fascinated by how, why or where folks feel the need to cover themselves in more than just clothes. Or for those who just want to show off that Satanic Zombie Naked Elvis Tweetie Pie you've just had done on your shoulder.
London tattoo by Michael Rose of Protats