Photos Matt Allan Photos.
Words and VLog Callum Doig.
With a great first impression on my visit to last year’s Rites of Passage, I thought it’d be as good a time as ever to come back again to see what the acclaimed tattoo festival had to offer this time. On a colder April day than usual, it was great to finally return to the Royal Exhibition Building for the annual body art expedition.
With mostly locals at Rites of Passage such as Frankie Lee’s, East Brunswick Tattoos, Melburn Made Ink and Benny Bones, there was a collective of international talent that showcased the abilities they had, such as Visual Orgasm from Singapore, Spacifik Ink from New Zealand, Three Tides Tattoo from Japan, Tattoo Family from Malaysia, Paul Martin Tattoo from Scotland and even a travelling artist named Joshua Sara from Melbourne. Each and every parlour came with their own unique style to display throughout the venue. From Japanese to European, to expensively detailed portraits, anything that came to the mind of a patron was there in that exact building. Continue reading
Lining the entrance were stalls of assorted goods, varying from alternative jewellery to barber knives, hot chilli sauces to the soft amplifications from Cranbourne Music’s Fender and Gretsch guitars, along with various merchandise stands like Killer March and Crawling Death.
Following the sound of buzzing needles around the first line of stalls lead me to find the first tattoo booth along the wall, which was Paul Rapley’s stand. Rapley was hard at work on a rib piece, and the guy receiving it made the overly asked question of “does that hurt?” sound even more rhetorical. Continue reading
Having some ink myself, tattoo conventions and festivals are something I’ve had on my ‘to check out’ list for years. I headed down Rites of Passage on a cold Saturday morning to see what was in store for everyone there.
The very moment I set foot into the building, it was as though I entered The Louvre equivalent of body art. About 95% of the crowd in attendance had tattoos, whether it be just one on their arm, or covered from head to toe, and a handful of people even with what I assumed to be tattooed eyes. From rows A through to S, there was nothing but countless parlours and organisations that came from all over the world such as Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and more. It was impossible to keep track of every single artist at the Royal Exhibition Building, especially with all of the business cards I took off each stand.
The good thing was, it wasn’t all strictly limited to tattoo companies. In fact, there were plenty of stalls set up that sold t-shirts, jewellery, and even supplies and aftercare. Tattoo removalist establishments such as Light Speed and First Impression Laser Clinic were also set up to promote their businesses. Children brought to the conventions with their parents even had the opportunity to get their own tattoos done. Considering that they weren’t above the legal age to have proper ink of course, they had the option to have airbrush and henna tattoos done on them instead. Continue reading