Tattoo convention gets under Cape Town’s skin

It was all about getting inked at the inaugural South African International Tattoo Convention

As a popular venue for medical and scientific conferences, the CTICC has experienced its fair share of needles. The weekend of 24 March saw the centre host a different type of convention, however, as visitors to the inaugural South African International Tattoo Convention came to experience some of the best in international and local tattoo artistry.


The convention saw around 80 well-known tattoo artists from South Africa and the rest of the world demonstrating their skill and unique designs. Notable artists included Holly Ellis from Idle Hand in San Francisco, Wan from Wild Rose in South Korea, James McKenna from Australia, Thea Duskin from New York City, and Waldo del Rocca and Garth Lloyd from Cape Electric Tattoo in Cape Town. 


Some convention visitors took the plunge and got tattoos at the event, while others chose to view live tattooing. The convention also included an expo of clothing, art work, books and merchandise related to the industry.


Romy van Tonder, Founding Organiser of the event, said she had seen the art form grow in popularity over the last five years.


“The world has evolved and so has tattooing. We are part of a generation of liberation and as a result people have shown more confidence in being unique in expressing themselves. It is a culture that has diverse roots and as a result still today creates a place where all are welcome, as long as they respect the work we do and take it seriously,” says Van Tonder.


“At the CTICC we take pleasure in being able to host dynamic and versatile events whether academic and scientific conferences, sports expos, food shows or events showcasing a particular culture such as the South African International Tattoo Convention. The CTICC has, over the past number of years, consistently hosted over 500 local and international events each year, and as our expansion nears completion, we look forward to being able to expand our offering to clients and visitors, and to build on the variety of events that we already host,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC.


According to the organisers, the CTICC was the natural choice to host the event.


“The CTICC is the reputable name in events in Cape Town. It was the natural choice to launch our event the right way. The CTICC has become the window into Cape Town for the rest of the world and we work with only the best,” added Van Tonder. 

Back to Top