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This fascinating exhibition explores the importance of tattoo art to queer communities
Tattooing our skin is an act of art, of true expression, of being seen. That’s part of the reason the LGBTIQ+ community has embraced the ancient artform wholeheartedly, presenting sexuality and gender-diverse bodies as a beautiful canvas. It's the proud embracing of outsider status.
Skin Deep is an immersive new multi-disciplinary celebration of these ideas at the National Art School this Mardi Gras. It includes a stunning photography exhibition celebrating queer tattooed people as photographed by celebrated Sydney fashion photographer Waded. Curated by Terese Casu, the show explores the history and meaning of tattoos to LGBTQI people and showcases diverse tattooed bodies at Cell Block Theatre until March 7. Heavily tattooed octogenarian bear Geoff Ostling is one of the stars of the show, so you can see close up the tangle of waratahs, orchids, azaleas, strelitzias, poinsettias, daphne, jacaranda and wisteria that trace every inch of his skin. LGBTQI+ visitors are invited to contribute their own body art through an interactive wall of images and stories about their first tattoo.
Choreographer Meryl Tankard also presents a series of live dance performances with the aid of aerialist The Amazing Ari, with The Song Company on hand to sing arias of unrequited love. There are more surprises to uncover too, so dive in deeper than Skin Deep.
Love queer creativity? Check out the rest of the brilliant Mardi Gras program.