Up to 2,000 people attended as legs, backs, arms and other body parts were transformed from pink flesh into a range of colours and designs this weekend. The buzz of electric needles inking art onto bodies was everywhere as men stripped to the waste to be tattooed, customers lay on beds as artists went to work and others stood and watched the spectacle.
The North Lakes International Tattoo show, held at the Shepherds Inn at Rosehill, packed the punters in during a two-day extravaganza. Organiser Colin Fell said tattoo artists had come from around the country to take part, with one artist from Sweden and another from the United States.
The people attending had also come from across the UK, with tattoo fans from places including Manchester and Glasgow paying for body art in Carlisle. “There are 56 artists here and they will all be tattooing at some point,” he said. “Some of them are fully-booked, some will take walk-in customers.
“There’s no stereotype to the people getting tattoos now. We’ve got all age groups getting tattoos.”The event is now in its fifth year and also featured a floor with stalls selling various items, including candles and T-shirts.
Outside, a change of letter to the venue’s sign saw it transformed for the weekend into The Shepherds Ink. Many at the show just wandered, taking in the tattooists at work and enjoying the atmosphere. “I’ve been getting tattoos since I was 14, it’s something I’ve been into since I was at school,” added Mr Fell. “When I left school I wanted to be a tattooist and it’s now become a more fashionable job.”