Airdate: Tattoo Tales


The latest foray into tattoo-themed shows on television is ABC2’s very own local offering, Tattoo Tales.

The 8 part factual series, filmed in Bondi (but not to be confused with ELEVEN’s Bondi Ink), is filmed by WTFN, and is produced and directed by former Nine reporter, Anne-Maree Sparkman,

Where once tattoos were badges of honour for the more marginal groups in society, getting inked is now an exploding social phenomenon. A far cry from their criminal connotations of the past, these days celebrities, hipsters and grandmothers alike flock to get tattoos – with one in seven Australians now sporting ink. This is despite the fact tattoos are expensive, painful, and polarising.

Tattoo Tales explores the issues by conducting a social experiment inside a busy tattoo studio on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach tourist strip. Twelve fixed rig cameras record the day-to-day antics and artistry inside the studio and capture the stories behind each tattoo.

Topics include grief, pain, illness, violence, weight-loss, heartbreak, cultural clashes, immigration, and same-sex marriage. The series looks at the social implications, employment struggles and judgments facing those who get ‘inked.’ All with an intriguing mix of heart and humour. Laugh and cry as their stories are told: a young mother who has survived three open heart surgeries and wants to illustrate her story of survival; a much-loved grandmother who gets ink on her 83rd birthday; a motor-biking paraplegic who finds strength and confidence in her tattoos; an extreme ink addict with a controversial message for society; a young couple who discover that tattoos do indeed last longer than relationships and a buff personal trainer with a soft heart, who misses his late mother.

Tattoo Tales also gives a unique insight into the artists, stripping back stereotypes and exploring the intimate nature of inking somebody – permanently.

Whatever you think of tattoos you’re bound to be intrigued by the motivations behind inking when you take a peek at Tattoo Tales.

Tattoo Tales is a WTFN production, developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcast Corporation. Directed and produced by Anne-Maree Sparkman, Executive Producers Steve Oemcke and Stephen Rees. ABC TV Commissioning Editor Andrea Ulbrick.

Wednesday, April 1 at 9.40pm on ABC2.

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