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Ink of Aotearoa brings beats and tattoos to Auckland’s heart

3 December 2010

New Zealand’s urban music scene unites at Auckland’s Fort Street Union Bar next Thursday (9 December) to launch Ink of Aotearoa, the first annual release of an innovative creative project that brings together tattooed musicians and their music in a calendar and CD compilation package.

Bought to you in a stunning series of photos that will be on display at the venue, some of NZ’s finest musicians will gather to perform live to launch and support the project that explores the unique relationships between three art disciplines - tattoo, music and photography.

The Ink of Aotearoa Launch Party kicks off with VIP drinks and an acoustic set on the roof-top of the brand new Fort Street Union Bar from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. This part of the night is to thank and celebrate the artists involved in the calendar production and to invite potential artists to join the project for the 2012 edition. The invitation is also extended to media to join us on the night – particularly those who are interested in covering the story of this project’s beginnings and its journey into the 2012 Calendar and CD. (Space is limited and RSVP to this part of the night is essential).

At 9pm the launch party opens to the public ($10 door charge) with live performances from Mista Tamati (TAOS) The Nomad, King Kapisi and special guests featured in the calendar.

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1/ The Ink of Aotearoa Auckland launch poster

Calendars and merchandise will be available to buy on the night and 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 This is a great opportunity to meet the artists up close as they will be available to sign any calendars purchased.

Artists set to appear on the evening include The Nomad, King Kapisi, Tha Feelstyle, MC Switch (Stauny Pops) and Mista Tamati (TAOS). The musicians feature in the Ink of Aotearoa CD and Calendar compilation alongside Jahfire, Hollie Smith, MC Antsman (Rhombus,) Black Planet, Cornerstone Roots, AJ (Evolving Rythyms) and P-Digsss (Peacekeepers, Shapeshifter and Sunshine Sound System).

Jackie Gay, the creative talent and photographer behind Ink of Aotearoa said the project’s strong cultural roots was perfectly suited to the rich arts, music and culture scene in Auckland

“Auckland is a melting pot of New Zealand and global cultures. It’s got the great vibe and is home to the essence of New Zealand’s incredible arts and music industry,” she said.

“Kiwi musicians as artists express themselves through their music, style, attitude – but the musicians I’ve photographed for this 2011 series also choose to express themselves through ink on their bodies.

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2/ Photographer and producer of Ink of Aotearoa, Jackie Gay

“It’s an expression of the musician’s character that is conveyed via their tattoo artists to their audience and fans, and it’s been my vision to showcase this inspirational, creative body art in celebration of the connection of ink and music in Aotearoa.

“My vision is to grow this brand and project so it becomes a yearly celebration which can grown into nationwide tours, festivals and even a documentary.”

Jackie, who is based in Queenstown, mostly photographed the artists as they visited the resort while touring throughout 2010 and also travelled over the country to shoot them on location in-between their tour schedules. The photographic collection and the compilation CD is currently on sale nationwide and internationally following the Ink of Aotearoa exhibition launch at Queenstown’s Subculture Club (15 October).

“Apart from having input into the images, 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.

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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