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Sublime Performance Art, Tattoo, and Body Painting, where Myth meets Ideal as Signatures on Flesh

Personal expression via the skin is a subtle form of performance art. Tattoo or paint on the skin is ageless, marking fertility rights, Martial celebrations, war games, theatrical works, rites of passage, and ritual indigenous celebrations. Today, more than ever before, as portals, these individualist decorative guides offer signs to inner metaphors and generous poetic statements shared from flesh to eye. A rose tattoo, a full bodied geisha, the name of lover or mom, are markers of past generations. The shamanic youth of today have claimed the landscape of the globe reminding us we are all descendants of places such as Aboriginal Turtle Island as told in the creation tales of the ‘Dreamings’. Recent generations embrace body art which blossoms forth blending new expansive dimensions in flesh tales, whether in permanent tattoos or henna art, with the old symbols of strength, spirit, and connection. The wearer becomes more colorful as they grace the beholder with ideas and ideals of self. Empowered forms are now cultural waves with sleeves, lilies down the thighs, necklaces, bracelets, sacral butterflies, and shoulders supported by angels wings.Some stories on the skin mark bonds of resonance with others in social tribes or note the coming and goings of relationships. If committing to an imprint is difficult one can simply get a henna tattoo that will last for weeks or a body painting that can be washed off. Face and body decoration create pathways for style at young ages with painters at community gatherings to increase the fun. Rites of passage are honoured and innuendos of what has been and is to come is imagined and defined. Jessica’s beautiful belly has been painted as a lead into the family celebration with husband Nino and young Sonny as they nest, awaiting the earth plane to open, once again, in a few days.
This henna painting honours the vessel that carries child, as she shares with the wonder of her flesh grown round in
increased expression of the gift of life ready to burst forth. Henna is a non toxic substance and also a nourishing and healing herb. Body paints that are also non toxic are used by Patty Erwin on these young men on their spirit quest. Non toxic dyes made from vegetable and plants substances can also be used for the more permanent tattoos under the skin. The path of spirit with self styled signatures of flesh such as oriental characters which represent spiritual vital force, Qi, and Love, along with indigenous symbols, increase commitment to process of being the truth.
Photo Credit: Nino Pinelli
Blessings to Jessica Pinelli and Family

Written by Cynthia Shahan

is an Organic Farmer, Classical Homeopath, Art Teacher, Creative Writer, Anthropologist, Natural Medicine Activist, Journalist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

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