Sunday, 13 May 2012

Performance Debut!

This week I made my first (and likely last) appearance as a performance artist.  I have never been one to revel in being the centre of attention and I have always been wary of the word "performance", so  deciding to get tattooed in front the 6 people who were assessing my degree work was a massive leap for me.

If you are not familiar with my work then I should mention that it has always had its roots in memory and its permanence, getting this tattoo was the perfect way to tie my work together as well as being a nice personal way to commemorate the last 4 years of my life. I could go on a lengthy discussion about why and the meaning behind it, but I feel that the reasons should be mostly self explanatory.

I knew from the start that I wanted Tim Sandys involved.  He did both of my other tattoos, and I was under no doubt that I could trust him completely with the tattooing as well as his unshakability under pressure.   I also needed someone to document the process, and I asked Nic Coupe who, I am very happy to say, agreed to participate.

I didnt look at the marking panel during or after the performance, but Nic told me that they looked very interested and keen, and one of them even began taking photos on his mobile phone!  At first I was a little annoyed at this as I would have been liked to have been asked if that was ok, but on reflection I like the spontaneity of it and also that he thought it was worthwhile documenting.  I am in no doubt that this was certainly a first, not only for the tutors but DJCAD too.

The temptation was always there to over document it.  We could have filmed it, and shot hundreds of digital photos, but I decided against this.  The only documentation of the performance would be on Polaroid film, and this would mean that there were only ever 8 shots documenting the main performance.  These are still in the space for assessment, and I will scan and upload them when I get them back.  I will also post a photo of the finished tattoo once it has healed

The entire process took less than 25 mins, although we did have to return to the tattoo later on and re-touch a few lines here and there.  I asked Nic to take a few photos of the touch up process, although I also wanted these kept to a minimum.  I am so happy with the end result, and I am proud that I managed to go through with it.

Re-touching the lines.
 Photo by Nic Coupe.  Tattoo by Tim Sandys.

Thank you to Tim and Nic (and everyone else), for your confidence in me and this project.  As cliched as it sounds, I honestly wouldn't have done it without you.

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