Irene







When did you get your first tattoo and how would you describe the experience?

I always wanted to have a tattoo because my mom and dad both had one. So when I finished school, two days later, I entered a tattoo studio and I had my first tattoo! A little star on the upper part of my foot. Thankfully, it was small enough not to be painful. I was a little shy at the process, but not afraid. After I did it I felt proud! I made a choice to mark myself forever. I had the ‘mark’. I was me.

To what extent do your tattoos tell a story?


My tattoos mostly tell a story. They are memories sealed in my skin. Every tattoo stands for a different period in my life. For a lesson I learned.


Can you tell me a bit about the 'wave' tattoo on your inner arm?

The wave tattoo was my last one. I was thinking about it for a year or so. When I decided to have it I changed easily the final form of the design. I drew it as a drop or a shell when I first thought of it as a bracelet tattoo. It finally came out even more beautiful than I imagined. To me, it symbolises the sea, which is actually only one drop of salty water. I have this strange connection to the sea; I'm always happy when I am at the beach or in the water. So I wanted to keep that feeling of joy and calmness in me.

How would you summarise your relationship with your tattoos?

Tattoos are another kind of art and, as I love ‘fetching’ art, I love 'fetching' tattoos as well. Tattoos let you carry with you all the beautiful and important things in your life. Heavily tattooed persons can be considered a walking piece of art. I definitely think so.



Do you think society regards women with tattoos differently to how it views men with tattoos? Is this something you've experienced first-hand?

Women with tattoos have always been a taboo in society. I think both women and men had the same problem. Tattoo meant ‘underground’ to the more conservative part of our society. Thankfully, the media, fashion and celebrities made tattoo art popular, so now a tattoo on your body does not mean you are a criminal or something alike. Nonetheless, women are still ‘inferior’ to men when it comes to tattooing. They are more easily considered a ‘slut’, especially when in motherhood, if they carry a tattoo. Men, on the other hand, are usually considered as more masculine. I have experienced strange looks and negative comments on my tattoos, and many men I know have as well, but criticism is always worse upon women.

Do you think tattoos are or can be powerful?

Tattoos are powerful and in so many ways. They can be scary, or make you look more strong. They work as a ‘coolness mark’ to some, or seem sexy to others. In so many cultures tattoos are thought to carry magical powers. All this history behind tattoo art makes me believe that you can gain power after the ritual of tattooing. Maybe at some point we will find out that tattoos actually have mystic powers. I totally feel like my own tattoos have special powers.




"When I was being tattooed it was as though the needle was uncovering these images on my arm, rather than adding them."
- Gabriella Apicella



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