Balnacra Arts by Vicky Stonebridge

New Tattoo

I have a new Tattoo. It was a fairly spontaneous thing, as I was going to the tattooist anyway with my daughter for her First one. But it wasn’t really spontaneous as I’d had this design in mind for a few years to fill one of the spaces between my other beasties.


( day 1- still messy, a week on- flaky but healing )
  Its from a Celtic sword hilt. I love my tatts. I sometimes joke that I get them so I don’t forget my favorite designs, well yes & no, the symbolic creatures need to be earned. They are not fashion accessories, not showing off how tough & crazy I am, not attention seeking. In our Northern climate they rarely see the light of day!  They are however in a way a badge of identity, a tribal marking. I wear my inside on the outside. They are a rite of passage, they are a marking of time, stages of life. It really irks me to see 20 yr olds with full sleeves or backs done, at that age you haven’t grown into your skin, you don’t know who you are, hell at my middle age I don’t know yet, I’m just gathering the threads. Its also easier as I get older as I’ll be wearing this skin less time, its older, more scarred & battle worn, less precious. The tattooist told me he preferred working on older skin as its tighter… not too leathery I hope !
I was thinking its about time I get a crow/ raven/ heron/ swan woven in there somewhere but had forgotten the big wing on my leg.. perhaps if I got two wings I’d be able to fly away like I day-dream ?
I don’t really have many decent photos of my tatts ( see cold climate ) so heres some of the last one as well.
In Russia I got some strange stares in Moscow- it was suggested I might have looked like a mafia member ?!. But further east in Tatarstan, I was worried about how people would take my tattoos in a different culture. But instead they were a means of communicating with the other artists, I was so chuffed when artists pointed at my arms & then their paintings saying  ” Пазырык! ” ( Pazyryk ) which is exactly where the inspiration for designs like the above come from. I was also concerned that artists from the Pazyryk region might take offense at me taking ‘their’ symbols, instead they were fascinated with the Celtic & Pictish designs I showed them. I was dubbed the ‘Celtic Queen’ & it did seem to communicate so much better than language & translated conversations could.


If you want more on Pazyryk culture, see previous blogs and Wiki!

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2011 by in Blog and tagged , .
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