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White Night Melbourne – Tattooed City


Text: Jan Henderson
Image: Nicole Reed

One of the most eye-catching events at White Night Melbourne on 22 February will most certainly be at the National Gallery of Victoria. There are wonders inside but the interesting action will be displayed outside on the facade of the venerable building.

Tattooed City is designed to fascinate, mesmerize and perhaps shock a little.

Conceived and curated by White Night Melbourne’s Artistic Director, Andrew Walsh, the presentation consists of images of Melbournians displaying their tattoos. The event presents 22 people, young and old, male and female and explores the details of their body art. These arresting images by photographer

Nicole Reed, will be converted into digital projections that will appear on the outside of the NGV through the expertise of The Electric Canvas. Reed took more than 3 weeks and some 1500 images to document a complete and detailed study of each body.

The Electric Canvas will be busy on Saturday with projections at 2 sites in 2 precincts. For Tattooed City 10 projectors each with the output of 20,000 lumens have been placed across the frontage of the NGV to sustain one continuous image. The projection has been tailored to the full height of the vertical walls fronting St Kilda Road and will present montage and full body forms on a continuous 5 minute loop.

Each image is a record of the individuality of tattoo art and personal choice. The images will showcase the total body from front to back so that the body becomes the art and the art becomes the story of the Tattooed City.


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