Report: The Bournemouth Tattoo Convention

This weekend has been a hot one, so the tattoos have been coming out in force for the first time this year. And the best place to see those tattoos? Bournemouth, for their annual tattoo convention.

Showcasing at the O2 Academy Bournemouth, moving away from its usual home of the BIC, artists from the South Coast (and further) gathered together in one very beautiful location. The event, sponsored by Indelible Ink (four artists behind red rope barriers signalled their presence on the first floor, overlooking the stage) as always hosted not only amazing artistry but the highly anticipated performances, all on the main stage at the centre of the auditorium.

Now I’m a bit of a people-watcher, and it was fascinating to watch the crowds at this year’s convention. Usually filled with head-to-toe coverage of everything from tribal to new school and the odd Japanese bodysuit, this year, the convention showed a new group of people. Completely untouched skin everywhere, yet fitting in with those with fully body coverage, showing just how diverse tattoos can be. Whether they had a genuine in interest in tattoos is anyone’s guess, or whether they were just voyeuristic soles looking for something different to look at, either way, it made for some interesting people-watching, and a great guessing game waiting for the slightly long-winded competition and results.

Not only was there diversity in the crowds, but also in the tattoos and their artists. Just to name a few of the studios working the convention:

Adorned Tattoo – Poole

The Tattoo Rooms – Maidenhead

Portsmouth Ink – Portsmouth

Modern Body Art – Birmingham

Electric Vintage – Bath

13 Ink Tattoo – Liverpool

Timeless Ink – Salisbury

Alongside the 31 stands selling on the day tattoos, t-shirts and one off prints were merchandise sellers such as Iron Fist and Oh You Pretty Thing on the Gods floor, and Beadesaurus, Rock N Rouge and Vanity Project amongst others on the first floor market place selling everything from jeweller, t-shirts and purses, to handbags and the world’s coolest (personal opinion, but shared by many) tattoo baby grows. “My Mommy’s Tattoos are better than yours” baby grow is totally going on the baby shower wish list for the future!

Last of all has to be the performances, alongside over 20 bands and acts, the standout and most anticipated act was of course, the returning Fuel Girls. And to make things even better they performed with Leah Dedrincat, renowned belly dancer and sword swinger and Sasha Flexi, pole dancer.

As for the competitions, Large colour saw the return of 2011 winner Scott Guildford by Derek Campbell of Ultimate Tattoo, Bournemouth with his amazing Buddha belly tattoo (yes a Buddha on his belly). As always the tattoos were awesome and the competition hard.

Basically a good convention, if a little hot and stuffy (Though a beautiful interior to the building, its size and location majorly let it down, and resulted in lots of hot and tired tattooists and lots of crowding, the BIC was a much better home for the convention) and had cameras been allowed in as in previous years the convention would have been up there with the best of them.

Competition winner from both days will be available on the website soon

Rachel spends her day chasing other people round the office, weekends shaking cocktails and the rest of the time looking at tattoos, reading and playing with the cat. 

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