Publications taken from Inner-West Weekly (11Mar09)

By Shireen Khalil


Many people cringe at the thought of getting a tattoo but they have become one of the most popular ways to express your inner art on the outer.


More than 150 tattoo artists from around the world landed at Sydney Olympic Park for the Sydney Tattoo and Body Art Expo.  The three-day event, which ended last Sunday, showcased the art of tattooing and brought together some of the best artists in the industry, including some from the US and Germany.


Tattoo artists at the expo said tattooing was more socially accepted today than in previous years and the more people educated themselves the more they appreciated the art.


Event organizer Richard Sedin said the expo was one of the largest tattoo events in the southern hemisphere.  ‘The event is about educating people about this fascinating industry – an art form that has become a major influence in our culture,’ Mr Sedin said.


Darwin tattoo artist Justine Hefel, who has cross-cultural and spiritual designs all over her body, said despite tattooing being a long and painful process at times, the result is worth it.


‘My first tattoo was of a dragon which takes up my entire back and took 17 hours to complete’ Ms Hefel said.  ‘It was a long process but the pain varies depending on where it is – if it’s over certain organs and tendons it does hurt,’ she said.


But hundreds of people were willing to embrace the pain at the expo while getting their favorite designs etched into their skin.


Melbourne tattoo artist Scott Jansen who was in the middle of getting a tattoo of a Japanese dragon, said the more tattoos you get, the less painful the process became.  The expo also featured bands, burlesque entertainment and a tattooing contest. 



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