Gathering celebrates body art

Jackie (Jax) Gay, of Still Vision Photography, studies some of her work which featured in the...
Jackie (Jax) Gay, of Still Vision Photography, studies some of her work which featured in the Revolver Bar's first annual Comedy Tattoo Show in Queenstown last night. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Some wear theirs displayed for the world to see, others keep theirs hidden under clothing, but all were celebrated last night at Revolver in Queenstown, during the first annual Comedy Tattoo Show

Revolver owner John Stapleton said the non-competitive event was designed as a "celebration of culture", showcasing the body art of residents and visitors in the Wakatipu.

A photography exhibition featuring images of about seven residents and their tattoos was displayed by Jackie (Jax) Gay, of Still Vision Photography, while those in the audience were also given the chance to show off their art and explain why they had it done and what it meant to them, Mr Stapleton said.

New Zealand comedian Ewan Gilmour "took the edge off" what could have been an "intimidating" experience, he said.

"Really, it's just trying to establish an annual event where we can try and draw as many people in to either talk about or show off what work they've had done, the stories behind that and what it means to them.

"It's just trying to get around cultures that exist in town and promote them.

"We know so many people who have an interest in body art and they're from all walks of life.

"The comedy side of things smooths off the edges and makes it more an entertaining sort of night."

Mr Stapleton said tattoo shows were not a new concept, but the prevalence of the gang culture in the North Island meant shows "became a victim of their own success".

The same thing had happened in Australia, until organisers decided to tie in comedians with body art.

Miss Gay said one of her models, whom she had used for her first exhibition, told her about the tattoo show and suggested she got involved.

One call to Mr Stapleton and it was all on, she said.

"I love showing people . . . putting it up there for other people to enjoy, especially with tattoo.

"It's my aim to shoot the art of the tattoo. . . and to shoot them beautifully."

About 120 people turned out last night to enjoy all of the action in the Comedy Tattoo Show, an event which may well become an annual one for the resort.


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