Got ink? Fremantle tour Death Before Dishonour teaches history of tattoos in port city

Got ink? Fremantle tour Death Before Dishonour teaches history of tattoos in port city
Got ink? Fremantle tour Death Before Dishonour teaches history of tattoos in port city

UNCOVERING the untold tattoo history of Fremantle is what the Death Before Dishonour walking tour is all about.

Forming part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival, the tour is run by self-taught historian and Five Star Tattoo Shop owner Ricky Luder.

It will include items from Mr Luder’s collection such as hand-made tattoo guns smuggled out of Fremantle Prison and tattoo designs by the infamous Bobby Thorton.

Art Hustler owner Emilia Galatis who collaborated with Mr Luder to create the tour said the art of tattooing began in Fremantle in 1917.

“Ricky has had a shop in Fremantle for over 50 years and he’s a total historical buff on tattooing,” she said.

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“Tattooing was brought here with convicts originally and has its relationship with scrimshaw and whaling which is art on whale teeth.

“Tattooing was a major business booming through Fremantle.”

Ms Galatis, a tattoo enthusiast herself has been tattooed by Mr Luder for seven years.

“It became clear to me that there were a lot of people in there that were obsessed with Ricky and his shop,” she said.

“People from all around would go there and it turns out it was because of his historical knowledge.

“It’s a largely undocumented history because it was illegal for many years, tattoo ink only became legal in the late 1970s.”

The tour culminates with an exhibition in Fremantle Prison that will be open to the public.

Ms Galatis said the tour would also hope to reduce the stigma some people had about the artform.

“Ricky talks about tattooing as social commentary and he feels a tremendous responsibility to the world to not put bad tattoos on people,” she said.

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT: Death Before Dishonour- Walking Tour with Five Star Tattoo Shop Owner Ricky Luder
WHEN: Saturday May 26 from 3pm to 4.30pm
WHERE: Meet at Five Star Tattoo Shop, Manning Arcade.
TICKETS: fremantle.wa.gov.au/festivals2018

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