Australian Tattoo Expo: Perth @ The Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre
Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15, 2019
The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre opened its doors to the tattooed and pierced subculture of WA for the Perth leg of the Australian Tattoo Expo last weekend, and they turned up en masse in all of their body modification, alternative glory.
With over 300 artists, the Australian Tattoo Expo website could feel quite intimidating, so arriving at the venue early on Friday was the ticket. Row after row of incredible artist after incredible artist filled the venue. Each of the different studios had their own stalls, most offering lots of flash designs pre-drawn for punters to simply walk up and choose from. It was good to see a really big representation of WA artists featured, but also a good mix of talent from other cities in Australia as well as international artists available.
There were lots of retailers dotted in between the tattoo stalls as well, with everything from alternative clothing and photography packages to framed moths, spiders and snake skeletons, and sweet, custom knives for sale. And, of course, loads of really great art prints from many of the artists for those who might like the picture more on their wall than on their body. Additional resource: Tattoo removal before and after.
There was plenty of entertainment for people to catch in between getting painted or punctured, with the Coney Island Sideshow and After Dark Circus peeps surprising, delighting, and just plain freaking people out! Everyone performed with energy and aplomb, but a highlight was definitely Miss Obscene – it’s not every day you get to see someone hammering a nail into or drilling their nose hole, before stripping down to nipple stickers and setting a mouse trap off on their nipples… and all without so much as a flinch.
A favourite event seemed to be the ‘Shittest Tattoo Competition,’ which drew a big crowd every time. Some of the winners of this questionable award sported some pretty terrible shit, with everything from dubious quotes and dicks, to pigs having sex, and symbols that looked suspiciously like they might have started out life as a swastika.
While the talent in terms of tattooists was brilliant, and the entertainment from the performers on stage really great, it was a little disappointing not to have decent food options, with only one food truck and just your classic stadium food available. It also might have been good to reach out to local Perth bands to perform in between the stage acts, which might have made for a better soundtrack to the day than what felt like the same few playlists on repeat.
All in all the Perth leg of the Australian Tattoo Expo seemed like a great success, with lots of brilliant body art to have a geeze at and a really impressive array of some of the best in the industry if you were lucky enough to get in before they were booked out.
Photo by Cam Campbell