Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I have a new tattoo. There it is, up there, after the blood and excess inky gunk had been washed away, a few hours after its completion. Isn't it absolutely beautiful? I think so, anyway. This will likely be my last tattoo for a while - they are not cheap! - but as I've long wanted this particular image to adorn my body, Susan agreed it can serve as my combined birthday and Christmas gift from her for 2015.
My individual attitude to tattoos is that anything permanently displayed on my skin has to be something personal and meaningful, and following my first three tattoos such is also the case with this one. While the Joe Strummer lyric ("I wanna live, and I wanna dance awhile...") on my left arm and the exclamation "Today!" on my right arm are philosophies relating to my approach to life these days, I also have a Maple Leaf on my right leg. This simply represents my pride at being a Canadian citizen and living in a country I consider to be pretty awesome.
In respect of the latter ink I also wanted a statement concerning my love and respect for where I live locally. I love Vancouver Island and, unless fate intervenes, will never leave here. So, with this tattoo I wanted to illustrate that fact with a representation of my favourite local creatures - hummingbirds - whilst acknowledging First Nations art and culture, and that I live on traditional Coast Salish territory. It might seem to those born here as perhaps a naive, misguided or overly sentimental gesture, but it was important for me to make this statement. I mean it, or else would obviously not gone through with it...and because of the amount of shading involved this one stung quite a bit, so you could say I've suffered for my art!
The tattoo is an exact, life-sized replica of a lovely 2010 carving by a Penelakut (formerly Kuper) Island artist named Duke James, that we bought at a market on Thetis Island some years ago. I've always adored the carving, and have it displayed in my office so I can see it every single day. When wondering how best to portray my love for my adopted homeland on my skin, I this image was always the favourite. I love it, and am proud to have it on my skin in this way.