A Convention for both the Heavily Tattooed and the Suburban Family:
Prison Ink 2017, pulled off something which shouldn’t work on paper. Hosting a cozy convention for both young people, families, tattooed people as well as the curious non tattooed. All within the setting, of an old (no longer in use) prison, with bars, barbwire, cells and all. The first thing that struck me, as I walked through the gates to the old prison grounds, was the big black and white banner saying prison ink, placed on the side of the old intimidating prison walls.
However, as soon as you entered the convention grounds, they had turned an old dreary prison, into a colourful grafitti and skater filled, tattoo mekka. With a total of over 200 artists, from all over the world. they had to utilize every little nook and cranny they could. A thing which they succeeded, turning old prison cells, exercise halls and more, into stages, tattoo booths and shops.
What went on at the convention and how was the vibe?
It was a convention with a very cozy feel to it, no matter where you went. Whether you were watching skate performances, taking in the scenery of the artists in the old prison cells and halls, or just enjoying some food in the sun, whilst looking at the graffiti, old school american cars or music performances. It all had the feel, of being one giant hangout. Which seemed to appeal to both the artists, tattoo collectors, and curious families who attended.
They even had a museum exhibition in the competition stage hall, of danish tattoo history. Which interested tattooed and non tattooed guests alike.
Despite this calm hangout demeanor, which pleased a lot of people. There were still some A-listers from the Danish tattoo scene, who attended the convention. For example Anne Lindfjeld, Frank Rosenkilde and even the legendary danish tattoo artist Tato Svend/Tattoo Svend (Svend Kukkerig), graced the convention. Not to mention the two hosts, who was the young model Linnea Thomasia, who has had a rocket career these last few years. As well as the well reknowned Danish photographer, BMX enthusiast and tattoo fan Thomas Skou.
My interview with the organizer Daniel, on his impressions and plans for the future:
I spoke to Daniel about what he thinks of the convention this year, as well as what his ambitions are for it in the future. He has been very happy to see his project, go from really small to quite big. He hopes it will keep growing, however he believes that they have more than enough artists. They went from 100 artists the first year, to 250 this year. On top of that they sold out completely when it comes to tickets, so they want to continue that. However, they do not want to expand the amount of artists, they just want more guests to attend.
He does believe though, that they will keep the cozy laid-back vibe in the future, which many artists and guests like. Also sporting the same amount of foreign artists as this year, where almost half the artists were foreing They still though, want to have more music and especially more BMX and graffiti and such. More entertainment for people, so they can enjoy the good weather and have fun, whilst seeing artists from all over the world. Hopefully they will have great weather as well, for a 3rd year in a row. But even if the weather is not as good, Daniel plans to make the next Prison Ink even better. Being happy that people get the irony of the high quality he started, in a prison setting.
So to sum it up, they look forward to making it even more awesome, with more BMX, bigger street sport names. With more music and still loads of great tattoo artists. He also laughs, as we at the end of the interview, talk about a bit of free commercial space he got. As a guest at the convention, without having planned it, got a prison ink tattoo (as seen in the gallery). I will say this much, for a 26 year old student… Daniel through together one awesome convention and I can’t wait to see, how it turns out next year.
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