"His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! — Great God!"

Marry Shelly, Chapter 5.

An in depth look into the choice in altering ones body permanently, and what is the hidden meaning behind the work chosen. How one feels about themselves after altering their body, and how does it feel to essentially piece out your own body.
An instant camera will be used to reproduce these works of art because of the process of reproduction: the subject commissioned work and went through a transformation from the original thought to the final art work to finally being reproduced by another machine in an instant.

Each person featured will be interviewed and parts will be selected to photograph. Names will not appear along side the interviews or photographs as the story of building one self is the focal point.

So my mouse. My little sister who is ten years younger than me drew it when she was four, but I kept the drawing she did all this time before tattooing it. She would call it her mouse-heen. I still have the piece of paper, and have it framed with a photo of her and she laughs about it. She shows it off as well as she has taken a photo of it and shares it with other people. I think it may be more important for me as she doesn’t even probably remember doing it. She also likes it’s the only tattoo that I have that shows all the time.

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The writing says “mo chlann mo chroi” which means my family is in my heart. That part was a tribute to my family because no matter where I am I can be with all of my family. My family in Ireland and my family in Canada. My little pony is for my older sister. The cupcake and the gingerbread man is for my mom and my two sisters because we would always bake together. The care bear is the very first teddy bear my dad bought me, and he got it on the day I was born. The cross stitch is for me because I like to do that, but all of the women of the women in my family were seamstresses or are into making clothes. The fly is for my dad. The humming bird was for the first time seeing a humming bird up north at my mother in law’s house. The daffodil is my grandmother’s favourite flower, I got that when she passed away. The snow flake is for me because I enjoy the winter time. The pocket watch is one of my father’s pocket watches, and the time is the time that I got married. The shamrock and the maple leaf represents my husband and I. Then on the other leg I have a jackalope, a squirrel, and a door mouse and those are all related to me because if I won the lottery tomorrow I would quit working and would rehabilitate animals.

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When I decided to do this it was a couple years before I got the courage to do it. I got the CN tower for the place that I was born and raised, I got the Portuguese crest for my heritage as both my parents were born and raised there, I got the leaves to represent Canada. Boston is my favourite hockey team, and I have family from Boston. When I was younger I picked them, and now I can’t really switch. The horse shoe is my favourite football team, the Indianapolis Colts. When I was younger I had a favourite player on that team who is obviously not still there but I still follow them. And finally the Jays! We go and we always used to go to their games when I was a kid. I just wanted to get something to put on my arm and give support as a fan.

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When I was younger I was with a very abusive woman. She sexually and physically abused me. I decided to get this battle damaged piece of armour, because although it is damaged it’s still there and it’s still strong. I am inspired by and am passionate about history. I think on my other arm I will eventually get samurai armour. The chain mail underneath actually took the longest. The quote is from Winston Churchill [Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It's the courage to continue that counts] which I stands for my life as well it doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail you have to keep trying no matter what you do. I also wanted a touch of colour in this piece and so I got the buckles coloured and I wanted the buckles to look very realistic. Before having the piece done I had a momentary realization that I will never see this skin again with out that tattoo being present.

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I got it because when I was in high school I used to injur myself and this piece is intended to cover up all of those scars, and I wanted to cover up something really ugly and negative with something really fun. I stopped having people stare or ask awkward questions about my scars and now they like looking at it. I have been a big Nintendo fan since I was about six years old so I picked a few of my favourite characters and got it done in this 3D style. My favourite character is Rosalina even though she’s way at the back.


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The cherry blossom represents change and I got it as a 25th birthday present for myself. I had it done right after I left my abusive ex and it was right after I finished college. I wanted the piece to look like it was growing and changing just like how I was in my own life. 


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It is part of one of my favourite poems that my mom wrote inside of my favourite book that my mom gave me on my birthday in 1999. So I got the tattoo based off of her handwriting. The poem is called Desiderata, which in Latin means “desired things.”

[You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy]

My mom can’t write that well any more because of her MS so the hand writing on my body is different as her hands have become more shaky over time. So it’s a reminder of my childhood and to have my mom with me as well as my having my favourite memories attached to it with me always. It’s my favourite, and the largest and I have eight tattoos. The piece took four hours but did not hurt even with the placement. Her first reaction to the piece was “what did you do to your body?!” but then she realized it was her hand writing, and now she loves it.

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It’s Picasso’s drawing of Peace which is something that I try to be. I curse like a mother fucker, but I try to be a peaceful person at heart. It’s a combination of being an artist and loving birds. As I was growing up I knowing all the different bird calls, I’m able to know a bunch of different birds by their calls or by their feathers, or when and where they migrate. I love nature and birds have always been important to me as a person as well as an artist. I love Picasso as well, and it’s not just because I’ve been an art school student, but I always loved Picasso’s sculptures and simple line drawings. It’s simple and nice aesthetically, and it could be added to in the future. I think Picasso was also a seeker of inner peace as well.

 

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Mine has been a homage to my life. I have spent the last seventeen years being, I don’t want to use the word obsessed, but extremely interested in Japanese culture. I also have the tendency to prove things to myself. So I will set a goal for myself and I will finish no matter what the cost financially or painfully, and this was one of those journeys. It began as a sort of idea based on my interest in Japanese culture and has become my life work to achieve and finish. It represents a huge part of my life and I have spent so much time and energy and emotion involved which is represented by this piece. From start to finish it took eight years. I have had three different artists working on this piece. First artist I didn’t like, the second person was actually in Japan that was a huge part of getting this done, and then I got the rest done by an artist in Toronto. I was actually studying in Japan for a time and moved there for a time. I try to go back every few years as it just feels like a part of my soul visiting there.

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My nanny and I when I was younger used to plant roses, and pansies and they're the only thing that remind me of her. I picked this placement because it's a very sensual part of the female body and my nanny was all about female empowerment as am I.

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