Newbury’s Tattoo convention has received high praise from artists nationwide.
Over 40 creatives poured into the Newbury Racecourse at the weekend to celebrate all things ink.
People of all genders and backgrounds came together to enjoy Newbury’s alternative scene.
This is the second event of its kind, in Newbury, following its successful debut last year at the Corn Exchange.
Newbury resident and co-organizer with Lee Priddy of Full Power Studios, Maria New, said the event was terrific, and the racecourse was the perfect venue.
“All the artists are lovely, and we are delighted,” she said.
“We created this event because we realized there were so many artists in Newbury, and during Covid, it was quite a struggle for them.
“This is for the community to just be there for one another.
“Last year was such a success, and we thought we had got to do it again
“Everyone enjoyed it so much.”
She added: “We moved from the Corn Exchange last year to Newbury Racecourse and thought this is perfect.
“We are in Newbury, so we can’t go to the racecourse.”
Around 42 artists set up stalls on the venue’s ground floor, each with different tattoos, merchandise, and art styles.
Among the stalls was tattoo artist Ollie ‘Idlehanded’ Merrin, who said this was the best tattoo convention he had attended.
The artist, who works with Area 51 Basingstoke, was selling tattoos, goody bags, and prints at his stall – which he called the Mojo Dojo Casa Saloon.
He told Newbury today: “This is the nicest convention I have been to.
“Everybody is so friendly; even when we were setting up, everyone was chatting, and it was adorable.
“It’s important because as an artist working in a shop, you don’t have a chance to meet the rest of the community, so something like this where everyone is in the same room, you can make those connections.”
Being tattooed in Mr. Merrin’s sparkly set-up was Alfie Wright, who said she was so happy with her new ink.
“It is amazing,” she said.
“I picked out what I wanted, which looks exactly like the picture.
“I am just so happy; it is just beautiful.”
It went on to win an award on the day for the best traditional tattoo.
Several creatives selling art and other forms of merchandise were located on the first floor, packing out the large venue.
Some artists came from outside West Berkshire, including 21-year-old Georgina Sawyer of Gizzy’s Tattoos in Oxford.
She said: “I am having fun. It has been perfect to speak to many people.
“I have been tattooing for about two years now; I am quite a newbie.”
She added: “This has been quite good because it was so easy to get to; it is near Reading, Oxford, and London.
“And it is such a nice area.”
Several music artists were lined up to play for the attendees, including Newbury band Big Drink and London band Tova.
Other music artists included TV Yellow, Giles, 4 Fox Sake, and We Are Folding Stars, and Leah Toklsdorf.
Edward Davis of The Tattooed Hare, who also came from Oxford, has been tattooing for two-and-a-half years.
He said: “I haven’t been doing this long.
“I was a skateboarder when I was a lot younger, and it is kind of one of those cultures where the two just sort of fall into each other.”
The artist, who enjoys creating simple, traditional American designs, added: “I am having a fantastic time.
“I have never worked at a convention before; this is a first.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but this has been brilliant, everyone has been so lovely, and I have been so busy.”
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