Week One of the Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency Part 1
The first two weeks of the Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency have been absolutely mind blowing as I have been able to hear the stories of the artists in attendance Dean Hunt, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Amy Malbeuf and Jordan Bennett. These two blog posts will contain a run down of the activities and some of the lessons learned and shared over the first week and another to follow outlining the second week.
The Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency is happening as part of and running concurrently with the The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive Program which is coordinated by the Creative Studies Department at the the University of British Columbia Okanagan. It is an amazing program and this year is hosting “a core group of senior artists: Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, David Garneau, and Adrian Stimson. It will also include upward of 20 visiting studio artists in residence.”
This was only the first time we visited Gordon at his shop the second time was with the gracious organizer extraordinaire of Indigenous Ink Terry Klavenes a Tongan tattoo artists who is working at bringing the motifs and designs from his Tongan heritage into his tattoo work.
During our second visit we happened to be there during the raising of Gordon’s new sign outside of his shop, which warranted an impromptu celebration that included some of New Zealand seafood. One of these “delicacies” is Kina, which are sea urchin eggs, I tried them once and that will be the only time I put these in my mouth. After trying a few of the things offered I thoroughly enjoyed my order of fish and chips.
I have been working on this post about Indigenous Ink 2015 for awhile and have decided since it is so long that I will post it in sections, enjoy part one.
In November of 2015 I travelled to the Maori, Pacific and Global Indigenous Tattoo Festival (Indigenous Ink) in Aotearoa held at the Manukau Station, Auckland New Zealand. This event took place on November 20th to the 22nd and featured over 30 Indigenous tattoo artists and cultural practitioners from across the globe. As stated in the document Press Kit put out by Maori, Pacific and Global Indigenous Tattoo Festival:
I am just starting to update this blog with some of the work I have been doing since I started my masters degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. This is a teaser trailer for a mini doc I produced as part of the class “Digital Filmmaking for activists and scholars”. It was the first time I did any sort of video editing, recording of interviews etc. I am cleaning up the final project and will be posting it within the next few weeks.
This is a Music video which tells the story of one Moko wearer, it feature Maori Tattoo Artist Turumakina Duleyz. This video speaks to one of the reasons I am so passionate about the revival of my cultural tattooing practices, and one of the reasons I think it is so important for Indigenous youth and our struggle for identity in this world of fluid fads and fashions. My passion comes from the loss of a dear young friend of mine, a young man with so much life and so much to live for, but he decided it was time to leave this plain of existence and took his life into his own hands. Suicide is such a problem for our peoples globally and especially the youth, I am just trying to do something for the people to be, something that may help cement them into their culture and their life.
Watch this video its inspiring, because it speaks to my heart, and encourages me to continue my struggle to make a difference.
Turumakina Is the artist in the previous post on Moko, I remember him from the documentary done by the History Channel entitled “Ancient Ink” here are two portions of that program that feature Trurmakina Duley.
Ever since the first time I seen Maori style tattoos I feel in love with them, I can’t remember where or when but they have always fascinated me. Actually the little booklet that I found in the local tattoo shop about my ancestors tattoos was found when i went in to get my Maori inspired tattoo which occupies my right arm.
One name I have always been amazed about and followed wherever I could find anything about has been Keone Nunes, I have read numerous articles and watched many documentaries which have featured him. I am amazed and humbled by his grace and presence. I look forward to one day meeting and talking to him about his tattooing and the revival of Hawaiian tattooing.
In this short clip Sulu’ape Steve talks about how for many of his clients who are part of the Samoan diaspora, which has taken many Samoan people out of Samoa and planted them all across the West Coast of the United States and especially in Hawaii, that to get a Samoan influenced tattoo is a way of identifying with the culture. It is a mark of Identity for these Indigenous Samoan people, check it out, it a neat clip.
This example encourages me on my journey, for it is important to provide culturally significant ways for urban Indigenous peoples like my self to identify with our culture.