Skin & Bone is a combination gallery and tattoo studio. The gallery will exhibit art and ethnographic handicrafts related to tattooing, while the studio will have Colin Dale tattooing alongside various guest artists throughout the year. Through his years of travelling and tattooing around the world Colin has had the pleasure to meet and work alongside a wide range of tattoo artists and experts working in ethnographic and other specialized styles. Amongst these friends, we have hand-tattooists from Borneo, Polynesia and Japan as well as some of the world's leading artists in Blackwork and Dotwork coming to visit. Check the homepage to see some of the work

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ragnarok, Rebirth and Rock Art

Well, Valentine's day was last weekend and Ragnarok was suppose to happen today, so I figured what better subject than the Post Apocalypse 

Brœðr muno beriaz
ok at bǫnom verða[z]
muno systrungar
sifiom spilla.
Hart er í heimi,
hórdómr mikill
—skeggǫld, skálmǫld
—skildir ro klofnir—
vindǫld, vargǫld—
áðr verǫld steypiz.
Mun engi maðr
ǫðrom þyrma

The actual the battle of Ragnarok is a very short portion of the Volspa in the Old Edda... much of the text is used to describe what happened afterwards. The couple Líf and Lífþrasir survive by hiding in the woods Hoddmimis Holt, who some see as the remains of or a synonym for the World Tree Yggdrasil. These two survivors consume the morning dew for sustenance, and from their descendants the world will be repopulated. Sort of the same symbolism found in the story of Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Paradise
Along these lines of Love and Rebirth I would like to introduce one of my favorite tattooing subjects... that of the Bryllupspar. This couple is known by several names; The Bryllupspar/Wedding Couple, The Lovers and in recent years people have began to refer to them as Det Kosmiske Bryllup/The Cosmic Wedding. This design is a reoccuring theme in Scandinavian Rock Art with many depictions... however the most documented and aestetically pleasing would be that found at Bohuslän in Tanum, Sweden. These Rock Art depictions were made thousands of years before the Viking age and wouldn't be depictions of  Líf and Lífþrasir, Adam and Eve or any other couple... but it is an interesting and reoccuring theme around the world. which is probably why the symbol is so popular-
I don't own this design and have done many depictions of it, however if you are to use it as inspiration please use the original petrogyph design rather than any of my versions of it.


Líf and Lífþrasir illustration by Lorenz Frølich 1895

A piece of original art I donated to the Valentine Art Show in Brighton to be auctioned for charity to fight child cancer

Det Kosmiske Bryllup by Berit Johnsen.
An interesting book which attempts to interpret Bronze Age life, rituals and religion by researching rock art images from the same period

The Lovers with a Sun Wheel (or Compass) from Bornholm in the background

 Jan Roland from Holland got this Rune Dragon with the names of his children and wife. He also wanted The Lovers included, so we set them in an energy spiral coming off of the dragon at the back of his arm

 The Lovers in negative with an energy spiral

 The Lovers surrounded by some simple geometric patterns

 If you ever visit the petroglyph site at Tanum you will also see this Axeman hovering over the Lovers... protection?... a shotgun wedding? :-)
Actually these large axes were cerimonial and often made of clay or bronze. The Axeman is at a different angle and much larger size than the bound couple, so I was very happy to get to render it in 3 dimensions (which workd very well together) as I think that the Axeman plays an important part in the story

The original petroglyph

Yes... not many people notice this. It's amazing what a little red accent can do... gives you a whole new story

 The Lovers in negative with other petroglyphs in the background

Caroline with The Lovers, Sunwheel and Flower of Life pattern under her arm where it sits close to her heart

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