Rainbow Dreaming  

Eye of Pan, Nimbin, 1993Image by Harsha Prabhu

Eye of Pan, Nimbin, 1993
Image: © Harsha Prabhu

Body Art

Tattooing is an ages-old art form that is finally being recognised as such. Modern western tattooists are at last breaking away from the confines of ' pop' art and cartoon imagery, and incorporating tribal designs from many cultures alongside traditional imagery. Some tattooists are beginning to take body form into account - instead of just ' stamping' flat pictures onto the skin, images are being twisted and twined around the form of the body. This added dimension and the new range of colours and tones available are beginning to take tattooing beyond mere surface drawing into the realms of painting and even sculpture.

Things can be sewn into the skin for added texture, etc. Many parts of the body can be stretched and reshaped over time. With the possibilities of considering muscle-flexing and other movement tattoos can come to life; drawing of figures can become animated puppets, images of faces and forms can ripple and change.

We are not so bound to the forms we were born with as it may at first seem. Our bodies are toys to be played with - the possibilities are now endless.

What scares many about tattoos and other body alterations is that they are irrevocable. This is true, and for this reason the effects, inner and outer, of such changes should be considered carefully before one begins. But the fact that most people neglect to consider is that there is always the possibility of further change! If you don't like something you've changed on/in yourself, keep changing it until you do. There is no going back, granted, but your can always go forward. The possibilities are endless. Don' t be afraid to change.

In the nineties, while mainstream Western culture becomes evermore dominated by mass-media conformity, subcultural radicals become evermore extreme in their struggle to individualise themselves from the imbecilic suburban masses. We are going beyond the merely 'feral'.

Stagnation is our enemy. Mutate Now!

Orryelle, artist and musician, Nimbin 1993

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