On February 26th, I presented an exhibition of tattooed silicone hands and sheets at Melbourne's Neon Parlour. All profits from the sale of these tattooed sheets and hands went to SafeSteps and WIRE, two Melbourne based organisations dedicated to providing support to women and children experiencing domestic violence.
With support from INKED magazine, Things & Ink, Melbourne Permanent, Sailor Jerry, Protat, Temple Brewery, Mulbury, Daseti, and Metal Couture, the event was a unique opportunity to view the work of many world-renowned artists such as Sasha Unisex, Grace Neutral, Guy Le Tatooer, and David Cote, including national talents such as Alvaro Flores, Matt Deverson, Lauren Winzer, and Mel Wink.
Each silicone hand was individually moulded from a unique cast of my own hand. With no prior knowledge of prosthetics or experience making moulds or using silicone, the process was one of trial and a shit load of error. Initially, the idea was to make one hand and write a ‘how to’ piece for INKED magazine, however, after investing over 3 months researching materials, contacting professionals, and sitting through hours of YouTube tutorials, it felt like an article would be a premature ending. Plus, I didn’t want to part with my newfound skills in silicone moulding that easily.
So, naturally, I contacted over 30 international, national, and local tattooists asking if they were interested in tattooing a hand or sheet that we could sell to raise funds for two incredibly important organisations, Safesteps and WIRE. And you can’t exactly say no to that! Lo and behold, these artists refused to shy away from the challenge and instead dedicated their time and demonstrated their artistic talent to bring us a beautiful and curious array of tattooed extremities and sheets.
With the exhibition complete Thing Gallery will continue to exist by commissioning artists to tattoo silicone hands for the public to purchase through www.thinggallery.com (Blank silicone hands and sheets are also available). I would like to express a huge thanks to all of the participating artists, Neon Parlour, our sponsors, and a special thank-you to Protat for donating $500 to WIRE.