Candice Nolan / Mar 3, 2019


I am working like a fiend. Due to the medication I am taking, I tend to go to bed a little bit early. But then I went and got

the flu. But also a tattoo. Actually, its more like a tatwo (tatone was the semicolon behind my ear). Flu meds make me feel even more spaced out. But there is wound care to attend to.

It requires careful washing away of the blood plasma. This is what causes scabbing and may draw the colour out of the tattoo, nixing the effect. My tattoo is very intricate, and – dare I say? – unique. It was painted onto rock hundreds of thousands of years ago by the San people.

It depicts three women. A side profile showing their rambunctious behinds. The first person that springs to mind – for me anyway – is Saartjie Baartman. She was duped into sexual slavery and exhibited across Europe. She died there and it took many years for her remains to be repatriated. She came from the same town where my paternal grandmother would eventually hail.

I love that I never have to explain what it is or what it means. It’s plainly rock art. The genius artist paid careful attention to detail, etching in the weathering of the “rock” on my skin. He used different shades of red and orange. The richness of the colours flow into one another and tell a story of their own.

I have a part of Bram, the tattoo artist, with me. During the procedure he said wryly “…it does not match the rock art drawing exactly. Instead it carries elements of my own interpretation of the image.” That is mighty powerful. It also explains why I have buttocks on my arm (one of the drawings sports nicely rounded buttocks, crack and all)!

Butt other than that, I am happy to be a brief story board. When me and Bram are long gone our personalities will be reflected in a photograph of a tattoo inspired by ancient rock art. Imagine that?!

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