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  • by Lindy Schneider
Something has changed in the city. During the week it’s all suits and ties but come the weekend, the laneways and cafes become living, breathing installation art destinations. Street art has a new domain, the limbs and torsos of the people, tattoos seemingly a new form of fashion – one that can’t be changed out of.

Getting some ink seems to hold as much attraction for the nubile young as it does for the tough guys.

Two women stroll past a café arm in arm. Twentysomethings, full of stories about last night, who texted who and what the hell was that about?

Entwined you cant help but notice their heavily tattooed arms. In prison these are called sleeves, but today, in Degraves Street they are a permanent fashion statement about what to wear.

One has even had ‘the work done’ on her legs, bones and grapes wrapping around her ankle, spider webs creeping up her outer thigh to eventually emerge from her black singleted torso to become two angel wings between her shoulder blades.

Jesse has her name tattooed beneath a sailor girl image on her left calf. She has proudly commissioned this design from a friend who fancies herself as an ink artist, and probably is. Her body is a living canvas, the symbols of her young fashionable life permanently etched in her flesh for all to see.

I can’t imagine making such long term decisions about what I like. I can barely stay committed to a brand of teabag let alone a tattoo that would be with me forever.

Fashion is notorious for change and Jesse’s body reads like a storyboard. With so many chapters still ahead of her, I hope she has left space on her canvas.

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