As promised, a short overview of my experience at the Good-Fellas 2nd Tattoo Convention, Arnhem 2003.
HighLevel picked me up at 10h30, and after a drive of just under two hours we arrived in the city of Arnhem. It took us some time to find the exact location of the convention, as neither of us had written down the address. When we found the Musis Sacrum location, we immediately noticed a lone line of people waiting to get it. The organisation was prepared for it though and they had a second person selling entrance tickets to allow people to enter faster. At an €12.50 entrance fee it wasn't cheap, but in hindsight, totally worth it. Three floors filled with booths, clothing books, where does one start?
We did a few quick rounds through the place to get familiar with the building and what we could find and seemed interesting. In the mean time we also kept an eye open for Sleeve and Dutchweirdo, and were looking for Calypso Tattoo because I knew Free was around. Of course Calypso Tattoo was at the top level, almost the last booth and while going back downstairs we ran into one of the first IAM people : Free. Chatted a bit and then went on our way looking at the rest of the things. Lots and lots of different artists, not only different in style, but also geographically different. We noticed shops from Germany, Holland (makes sense, since the convention was in Holland), Belgium, France, UK, USA, Switzerland, Argentina, Croatia, Scotland, Israel, Teneriffe, Austria, Australia and Borneo. And the Japanese artists (Hori Hiro, Yellow Blaze Studio, Horiwaka, Miyazo) did impressive work with their often manual inkings. It was fascinating to see the masters at work.
At 16h00 Mo'o (Mo'o Tatau) and Tuane (Stingray Tatau) gave a seminar about Maori, Polenesian and Samoan tatau and how the art originally given to women by the gods, has spread all over the world. Even though it was only about 1 hour long - due to the heat in the small room - they explained history, changes and differences in style, culture and related topics. Very very interesting and I was very glad I attended. More info about Ta Moko can be found at www.tamoko.org.nz - very interesting resource!
After meeting up with more IAM/BME people (Amen Ra and two of his friends, Nicaxed, Sleeve and Dutchweirdo) we called it a day around 19h00. Keep in mind that we entered the convention around 13h00, and not one second we were bored. Unfortunately, most of the photographs I took are fucked up due to bad lighting conditions and too much long distance shots (or too much zoom), otherwise you'd get some idea of the atmosphere. The traditional firedance performance (I seem to recall it was Thaitian?) was simply stunning as well.
A convention packed with culture, education and a wonderful mixture of the "old" ways and the "new" ways in regards to tatau/tattoo. I had a blast and will be going back next year!