This event will be held for the first time in Malta between the 7th and 9th November in Qormi.
Tattooing is one of the oldest forms of body art in the history of civilisation, with the first documented evidence dating back to 6,000BC. Serving as social markers, tribal signs, family emblems and even symbols of battle, tattoos were used as decorations by various cultures from Egyptian to African and from Indian to Asiatic.
Throughout the ages, and as a result of being an island in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta was constantly exposed to different cultures and traditions, often as a direct result of it being conquered by various civilisations and empires.
Very likely, the Maltese population became more acquainted with the idea of tattooing with the arrival of the first British sailors, when Malta, then under colonial rule, served as a maritime hub in the Mediterranean for the British Empire.
For years, as was the case in many countries, tattoos carried a very bad image since people associated them with thugs and criminals, suggesting that anyone sporting a tattoo was not fit for ‘polite’ society, unless the tattoo was covered. This approach to tattoos and the stigma that was linked with them is somewhat being eradicated, and although many still look upon tattoos with disapproval, the new generation is embracing this creative art-form, whole-heartedly.
More than a year ago, a group known as rejects.com.mt, which is dedicated to promoting sub-cultures, underground scenes and local art, created a Facebook page entitled ‘Tattoos and Piercings Acceptance in Malta’. This page garnered immediate attention, having in fact, almost 3,000 members, to date.
Realising its potential, not to mention seeing how many like-minded individuals were interested, and after being invited to participate in a number of T.V shows and online interviews, rejects.com.mt decided to host a major cultural and artistic event, The Malta Tattoo Expo.
Mr Damian Allison, one of the main individuals behind the movement, was very helpful in answering a few questions about the event.
How many tattoo artists will be contributing to the convention? Are they all Maltese?
There will be around thirty local artists and two guest artists from Spain.
What is the aim of the Tattoo Expo?
The aim is to promote tattooing as an art-form, to promote the tattoo artists themselves, as well as to bring together tattoo enthusiasts under one roof.
What do you think of the Maltese mentality in relation to tattoos?
The mentality is changing, albeit very slowly. People in certain age groups tend to accept it much more than the older generations but in general, it’s becoming more widely accepted and we aim to continue promoting this form of art.
The Malta Tattoo Expo will be a three-day tattoo convention, offering artists and tattoo affacionados the opportunity to meet and learn more about their passion.
The event will take place at The Diamond Hall in Qormi.
Click here for a map between Friday 7 and Sunday 9 November.
The opening will take place on the Friday at 8pm, while the Expo will open at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday.
Early bird weekend tickets cost €15, and for only €27, one can also purchase the Malta Tattoo Expo official T-shirt in addition to the ticket. Hurry up though, early bird tickets are limited, and once they’re gone, the next batch will be €20!
Single-day tickets will be on offer later on, however these will only be available for Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s concert and special opening night are only accessible to those with a weekend ticket.
For more information about this event, click here: facebook.com/maltatattooexpo