The Sea and Me

I just got a beasty new tattoo. It was very, very painful and/but I love it. Thank you, Fred Raph. Niiiiice work.

I love the poem, To A Young Artist In Contemplation (for allan) by Sia Figiel… this is an exert:

and when no one else listens
and when no one else understands you
go back to the sea
and scream
(in silence)
and the mana of salt
will heal
over and over
as you begin y(our) journey
and again
and again…

New Tattoo by Joe Brown // Nesian Tattoo (Mangere)

Am seemingly addicted to getting tattooed. Most recent piece is by Mangere-based Samoan tattooist, Joe Brown, whose space, Nesian Tattoo on Kirkbride Road always inspires me.

Joe added to and extended a tattoo I’ve had on my back for ten years connecting it to the two recent kingfishers I had tattooed on my hips.

Even in my fourteenth tattoo session, it still hurts.

But I love my new Joe Brown tattoo.

Jordan Souza // Aotearoa

Hawaiian visual artist and tattooist Jordan Souza came to Auckland as the Tautai Trust 2010 Artist in Residence in March. The focus of the residency is networking and developing professional relationships. It was excellent spending time with Jordan, introducing him to Auckland-based Pacific artists and especially learning more about tattooing. He spent a month with my housemate Tanu Gago and I, spending days and nights talking art, tattooing, Hawaii… travel and music… and tattooing… lots of friends! Thank you Jordan, we will all remember you for the rest of our lives!

Jordan designed this custom piece in collaboration with Tanu, nine flowers represent his nine sisters.

After I tattooed a banana leaf outline on my left thigh, Jordan finished it off

Jordan met Monty Collins, Mangere-based graphic designer at Fresh Gallery Otara.

He added to Monty’s extensive sleeve and chest pieces with a Marquesian inspired chest/side piece.

We were all feeling Monty’s pain… but it looked so mean when it was finished!

My beautiful friend Melissa loves her new chrysanthemum tattoo.

Multimedia artist and story-teller, Nia-val Ngaro had a design in mind taken from the prow of a Cook Islands canoe.

This was a beautiful pre-wedding treat for Nia-val.

This custom piece was made for Samoan musician Quincy Ray Filiga.

Jordan tattooed two matching secala / kingfishers on my hips, which I love. The secala /kingfisher is the totem bird from my village Dravuni, in Kadavu, Fiji. The image is based on a kingfisher from the Nice Work stationery range, re-drawn by Monty Collins.

Encouraged to make an experimental video work for the Tautai event, Off Stage, Jordan collaborated with Tanu Gago to make this quick video, offering a passer-by on Karangahape Road a free tattoo!

More photos from Jordan Souza’s stay

Jordan Souza’s art website

Nesian Tattoo // Mangere

Samoan musician, King Kapisi with Joe Brown

I’m starting to see Joe Brown’s strong tattoo aesthetic a lot these days. On Saturday I saw an amazing calf tattoo at the Otara market and in discussion with someone at Fresh Gallery Otara later on, I was shown Joe’s website and the calf I had seen was in his gallery!

His space, Nesian Tattoo, is at 3/203 Kirkbride Road, Mangere, Manukau City.
Open Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm; Saturday 10am – 2pm

Check the website for contact details //