Tassie Themed Tattoo

Furry, feathered, and scaled friends

To outsiders, the flightless Tasmanian native hen — or turbo chook— mightn’t be a top choice, but Melanie Wells loves observing them as they notch up speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour on foot. The “pure joy” she gets from watching them inspired her tattoo.

“They’re iconic, endemic and we are so lucky to be able to easily observe them in the wild,” she said.

Melanie’s turbo chook tattoo by Rosie Roo.(Supplied: Rosie Gude)

Hannah Ledger’s tattoo is of the freshwater fish Pedder galaxias, which was declared extinct from its original range in 2005 after the controversial damming of Lake Pedder in 1972. A small population lives on in Lake Oberon and is considered endangered.

Hannah sporting her tattoo by Rowan Week.(Supplied: Hannah Ledger)

“I am a proud and passionate Tasmanian and love its unique biodiversity … this is a reminder of the importance of conservation in Tasmania and to protect many of its vulnerable species,” she said.

Mikey’s tattoo by Jarret Livingston, Liv’s tattoo by Penelope, and Dave’s tattoo by Casey Jones, all sharing the Tasmanian love.(Supplied)

The famous Tasmanian, which became Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial after the extinction of the thylacine, is a popular animal tattoo of choice.

For the love of Launceston

Many Tasmanians  to honour their Launcestonian roots, for Emily that meant getting the heart of the city — the Brisbane Street Mall — on her arm.

Emily Baker’s tattoo by Lauren Winzer celebrates the Launceston Mall.(Supplied: Emily Baker)

“I a tribute to my beautiful home town, Launceston, and while The Gorge might’ve been prettier, I’ve spent much more of my life browsing the Brisbane Street Mall,” Emily said.

For Seaweed, her Launnie ink is a nod to her family’s hard work and the community she was born into.

Seaweed’s Ravenswood tattoo honours the suburb in Launceston where she spent the early years of her life.(Supplied: Seaweed)

“My family lived in Ravenswood public housing for 10 years in the 80s and 90s, which is a highly stigmatised suburb for being dangerous,” she said.

“I got this tattoo because I am proud of where I come from and the hard work of my parents to give us the best they could.”

Family and language

Nala has her little sister’s name “Nunami” tattooed on her foot.

“[It] means ‘little package’ in Tasmanian Aboriginal language … she weighed 1 kilogram when she born, so it’s very significant,” she said.

Nala Mansell’s tattoos for her little sister and her daughter, Kitana.(Supplied: Nala Mansell)

‘No Regrets’ Luca Brasi is a muse for many

Fans of Luca Brasi, a band that formed in the east coast town of St Helens, have a particular penchant for lyrical tattoos.

David’s tattoo by Dainty, Brodie’s tattoo and Dan’s tattoo all inspired by songs from band Luca Brasi.(Supplied)

Matt from rural Victoria has collected quite a few Tassie tatts while on musical pilgrimages with his mates to a festival organised by the band.

“We do a boys’ trip each year … and always make a stop to the tattoo studio. About 11 of us all have the lip tattoo,” he said.

Matt Eade’s tattoos by Christopher White.(Supplied: Matt Eade)

Tasmanians love the great outdoors

Josie showing her mountain tattoos by Kat Scarlet in front of Barn Bluff.(Supplied: Josie Hamor)

On an island famous for its soaring peaks and alpine wonderlands, many people have celebrated the state’s mountains in tattoos.

kunanyi/ Mount Wellington has a “special piece of my heart”, explained Alice. Her grandparents were involved in protesting a cable car proposal on the mountain in the 1980s and her grandfather’s are scattered there.

Adelle and her friend Tom’s matching kunanyi tattoos by Iain, and Alice’s tattoo by Grim Grabe.(Supplied)

“I’ve visited kunanyi with so many loved ones, and it’s the view greeting you when you return from the mainland — it’s how you know you’re home,” Alice said.

Tasmania’s fifth-tallest mountain, Cradle Mountain with its distinctive glacier-carved peaks, is well represented on Tasmanian arms.

Shaun’s tattoo by Pat Barnes, Jas’s tattoo by Rosie Roo and and Jaydee’s tattoo by Aiden Stafford, all celebrate Cradle Mountain.(Supplied)

Shaun got engaged at the mountain and has the exact coordinates of his engagement site incorporated into the design of his alpine piece.

“I hope daily reminder of this beautiful location and what it means to me,” he said.

Tasmania is home to nearly 2,000 species of native plant, and more than 500 of these plants are only found in the state, so it is no surprise that many nods to this botanical bounty are emblazoned on people’s skin.

Lisa’s tattoo of Banksia marginata by Rosie Roo and Angela’s tattoo of native pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) both celebrate plants found in Tasmania.(Supplied)

For Bianca, it was important to have tattoos celebrating “both alpine and coastal plants”.

Bianca’s tattoos of a sun orchid flower and fagus leaves.(Supplied: Bianca)

On one arm she has the coastal sun orchid and on the other arm she has the alpine fagus (Nothofagus gunnii), which is “Australia’s only autumnally deciduous tree that transforms from vibrant greens to fiery orange,” she said.

The fagus is a special favourite for many. The plant is only found in Tasmania and there are fossils of its leaves going back of years.

Andy’s tattoo by Rosie Roo, Jan’s tattoo by Kat Scarlet, and Gerogia’s tattoo by Liz Baker all feature the fagus.(Supplied)

Unique animals

Al Hines’ thylacine tattoo by Angelo was taken from a photo.(Supplied: Al Hines)

The iconic and extinct Tasmanian tiger has been memorialised in ink by many Tasmanians.

“I’m often overwhelmed by humanity’s relationship with non-humans, and, as a Tasmanian, the thylacine is such an iconic symbol of our neglect, ignorance, and selfishness,” Al said.

“I understand this is a photo of the last Tassie tiger in captivity and I love that it’s looking up at my face, almost pleading.”

Tasmania’s unique, chilly marine ecosystems also inspire.

Lisa-Maree Hanch’s weedy sea dragon tattoo by Josh Rees.(Supplied: Lisa-Maree Hanch)

“Kelp is so iconic to the Tasmanian marine ecosystems and being able to snorkel and study among them was such a special experience,” Zali said.

Zali’s giant kelp tattoo, Macrocystis pyrifera, by Blair Howard.(Supplied: Zali)

Home is where the heart-shaped Tassie is

A map of the island is one of the most popular Tasmanian tattoos, yet the designs and the symbolism behind the iconic triangle are incredibly diverse.

Kat’s tattoo incorporates Tasmania’s floral emblem — the Tasmanian blue gum, Stacy’s tattoo, and Colette’s tattoo.(Supplied)

Karen’s husband’s tattoo celebrates his grandad Terry Cashion, a legendary footy player who was inducted into the AFL Hall of last year.

“This tattoo represents his island home and his love of footy,” she said.

Nick’s tattoo by Sebastian Garlick and Karen’s husband’s tattoo.(Supplied)

Some people get the map inked on them as a reminder of home when moving away.

“[I] got this done just before moving overseas. Home is where the heart is,” Nick said.

Sam’s tattoo and Katy’s tattoo, both incorporate floral elements into the border of a map of Tasmania.(Supplied)

Not everyone who got the map tattooed was Tasmanian. Sam from Western Australia said, “My heart has been stolen by my two favourite Tasmanians: my husband and my goodest fur baby.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *