Thursday, August 30

Memento


Every time I've had a tattoo done I am asked different question in the real world.
Of course one old question remains: Does it hurt?
Well, I wouldn't call it pleasant. But it's well worth the sting.




Anyway, I was going to say:
Each time new questions arise..

This time around I got a lot of queries regarding cost (which I am not sharing here). 
One colleague exclaimed "you're spending all your wages!" when she first laid eyes on my new addition. Just so you know: I am not. Not by a long shot. I guess her comment took me by surprise. To me it seemed natural that an original piece of artwork wouldn't come at a fiver, especially when my own skin is the canvas. No room for error there. Frankly, price was never a major concern for me. I was looking for an artist who's work I enjoyed and who I'd trust to paint my very skin. It just never seemed like an occasion to argue over a few quid.

So, what's with the (not yet) blue roses?
Of course folks are always interested in the meaning of a new piece. I tend to a be a little cagey about this IRL, mostly because it is hard for me to aptly explain where I am coming from in just a few words. After all not everybody who asks this wants to sign on for a half hour lecture on my deepest, darkest.

Online this is a lot easier to sum up. I get to write it all out, re-read and edit, rather than gibber on aimlessly ;) So..

My original idea was for a baroque style flower arrangement. I guess that alone should give away my prime motif: I wanted a memento mori. After lots and lots of image searches I decided there was no need to be so darn literal about my little reminder: Who needs wilting flowers when the arm around that bouquet will wrinkle in time? It's only right for the blooms themselves to remain pristine while time creeps up on me.

Eventually I came across a blue rose tattoo flash by Amy Williams and the choice of colour instantly chimed with me. Blue. Blue roses don't occur in nature and thus, can be seen to symbolise the unobtainable.  That recalled another concept I'd not originally planned on incorporating into the image, but which is also close to my heart: They call it saudade. It's a Portuguese word that has no direct English translation and refers to a deep longing, a yearning for something unobtainable. Saudade. The meaning attached to the word comes closest to describing the strange sensation that remained when I used to feel very, very numb indeed. A distant grief, not triggered by a memory of something lost, but merely the aching awareness of an unremembered absence. It seems impossible to describe, but if you’ve been there I guess you know what I am struggling to express. Luckily, I rarely get that far removed anymore at all, but these absences have influenced my life greatly and played more than just a little part in leading me where I am now. And you know, I am real glad to be where I am now ;) 

So while I wanted it to be a pretty adornment on first glance, to me my new tattoo is a reminder of the transient nature of life. A visual cue to make the most of every minute and a reminder not to dwell on what cannot be changed.



And the answer to the most frequent question of them all:
While Amy Williams' image served as inspiration, the one now permanently etched into my arm was created and tattooed by Alexandra Hugianu.

Well, that was a long one :)
Have a fantastic Sunday you all!


top, cardi & flats: highstreet
brooch: fabric shop (labeled "vintage" Handmade maybe, but certainly not vintage)
skirt: etsy (Eclectasie)
tights: online store
*shout me for specifics

5 comments:

  1. I always found discussion about the price of tattoos odd, and I don't even have one! Surely the most permanent piece of artwork you buy isn't something you want to scrimp on. I'm glad you are so happy with it, and also that skirt is lovely, such a great shape and colour xo

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  2. I thought my tattoo felt like a bunch of bee stings at once and then my arm went numb and I didn't really feel it any longer. haha.
    Tattoos are expensive where I live. Mine was $300, granted it is large, but I got a discount on it of $100, plus I know people down south in the US who have the same size for about $100. Oh well. For us it was a bit of a waste of money, but I think really if people are more concerned with getting tattoos than paying their bills and helping others there IS a problem. Loved reading your explanation about blue roses!

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  3. What a lovely post. The concept of saudade is intriguing, I'd love to read more on the topic. I'm just now planning my first tattoo and hope to have an idea finalized in 3-4 years (when I graduate vet school).

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  4. I like the concept of saudade and your realization that the memento mori will develop in time.

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  5. I love it. I think it's beautiful.

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