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Kiwi dub stripped bare for Ink of Aotearoa

Kiwi dub stripped bare for Ink of Aotearoa launch

The connection between New Zealand’s urban music scene, the body art of its musicians and the work of tattooists has been stripped bare in a stunning series of photos by Queenstown photographer Jackie Gay of Still Vision Photography.

Ink of Aotearoa brings together photographs of tattooed musicians and their music in a 2011 calendar and CD compilation package that takes an intimate approach to enjoying the art of some the country’s most respected dub and roots musicians.

The photographic collection and the compilation CD is to go on sale nationwide and internationally following the official Ink of Aotearoa exhibition launch at Queenstown’s Subculture Club (15 October).

“Musicians as artists express themselves through their music,” says Jackie. “The musicians I’ve photographed for this series also choose to express themselves through ink on their bodies. And that art work is the expression of the tattoo artists. It’s been my vision to showcase the inspirational, creative body art in celebration of the connection of ink and music in Aotearoa.”

Jackie mostly photographed the artists in Queenstown throughout 2010 as they visited the resort on tour. Music acts featured in the Ink of Aotearoa project are; Tha Feelstyle, Jahfire, Hollie Smith, King Kapisi, MC Antsman (Rhombus,) Stauny Pops, The Nomad, Black Planet, TAOS, Cornerstone Roots, AJ (Evolving Rythyms) and P-Digsss (Peacekeepers, Shapeshifter and Sunshine Sound System).

Ink of Aotearoa has its roots in Queenstown but the musicians I’ve worked with each have a strong, recognizable brand within New Zealand. Each artist had total creative control over what track they contributed to the album and the CD flows amazingly, it’s probably best described as easy listening New Zealand dub roots music – it gives out an extremely positive vibe,” she said.

The exhibition launch is open to all with acoustic performances from some of the artists during the evening and Jackie says there will be opportunities for people to meet the artists and to get their calendar signed. The calendars complete with CD cost $34.99 and can be bought at the launch, at Real Groovy nationwide or online at A nationwide exhibition of the artwork is planned for the near future.

Still Vision Photography produced Ink of Aotearoa in connection with The Nomad/Fresh Audio. Ink of Aotearoa is suitable for those aged 18 and over.

To view Ink of Aotearoa artwork visit or to view more of Jackie’s photography online visit


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