OK so hands – why hands? What gave you the idea to do this in the first place? Are your hands tattooed?
Well, my partner bought a tattoo machine to play around with as she’s an artist, and that got me thinking about surfaces other than skin one can tattoo onto. I remembered Amanda Wachob’s tattooed oranges so I was basically walking around the house touching things and wondering if ink would penetrate and show in various household items. To be honest I can’t remember why silicone but the idea progressed into writing a “how-to” article for Inked magazine on creating tattooable silicone moulds. I ended up spending around 4 months learning and perfecting silicone casting and moulding until I was finally able to produce something that was a discernible extremity.
I think I chose hands because they were the easiest body part to cast and mold, and there were a shit load of tutorials online, everything else was riddled with, at that stage of my skill set, unfathomable variables and complexities.
My hands are not tattooed, although several fingers are!
What made you decide to take your project and turn it into a charity event?
I spent so long learning the vagaries of silicone moulding that I didn’t want to part with my knowledge so quickly by writing a step-by-step guide. And I was actually really enjoying myself. I was continuously improving my moulds and making a bunch of hands. I started wondering what some of my favourite tattoo artists might create on the medium; here was an opportunity to see a tattoo by Apro-Lee or David Cotê on my hand without the need for travel or pain. So I sent out some emails and the responses I received were all positive. And it was for such a pertinent cause.
I’m not sure if you’re aware but Australia is currently going through the throes of a domestic violence epidemic. The statistics are appalling but I’ll leave it up to your readers to do their own research if it interests them. Anyho, as a consumer of liberal media I was hearing stories so frequently that it made sense to raise money for such an important social malady. I then chose two Melbourne based organisations, SafeSteps and WIRE, who were dedicated to providing ground support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
How responsive was the tattoo community? Any surprises?
Well, the people I had contact with were all super supportive and enthusiastic about the project. Every tattooist I approached was keen to participate; the media all responded positively, especially Ness from Inked Australia.
Do you have a list of artists you would like to work with?
Yes, and it grows everyday! Keep an eye on our Instagram page for new artists @thinggallery as I’m patiently waiting for their responses!
Any other body parts/new products coming?
Well, I’ve been mastering the art of face molds so you may see my silicone physiognomy on the website soon… Maybe a face on a plaque or something? Silicone is fun, and the possibilities are only restricted by skill, so behind each new project is a lot of trial and error, it just depends how much error (and cash) we’re willing to go through.
I have also done some ear molds. But I’m open to suggestions.
Do you do custom orders?
Yes! We can. I’ve been meaning to mention it on the website. We could make molds of a variety of things, including different body parts (yes, even genitalia!) or just random objects like toys etc. But yes, if anyone has ideas please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
What is next for The Thing Gallery? Are you coming to the USA?
Next we’re making head molds. We’ve teamed up with Hannah Pixie Snow for the first head so hopefully that will be exhibiting in the gallery soon. Making the head mold was another 5 months of research and development but we finally got there! By ‘we’ I mean my partner and I, she has been selflessly helping with the research aspect of Thing Gallery from the beginning.
Well there you have it – the power of a dream, YouTube, shit loads of perseverance, creativity, chutzpah, and a willingness to reach out and help others. Let’s all give Fareed a big….you know what….for a great job. I’m SO excited to see what Thing gallery brings us next!
PS – extra high-five to whoever gets how insanely clever Thing Gallery’s name and logo are. Stumped? (I am literally killing myself here…) try this for a clue
all photos by Fareed Kaviani
Here is a list of all the artists that donated their talents to Thing Gallery’s charity event :
Guy Le Tatooer guyletatooer.com
Jorge Ramirez @jorgeramireztattoo
Vond Barta @vondtattoo
Mel Wink @smel_wink
Fergus Simms @fergus_simms
Nic Tse @jynt
Or Kantor @om_kantor
Amy Unalome @amy_unalome_tattoo
Elric Gordon @elriccfh
William Jellman @pastilliam
Tim Tavaria @timtavaria
Matt Deverson @mattdeversontattoo
Zane Donnellan @gooneytoons_str
Onnie O’leary @onnieolearytattoo
Eugene Plotnikov @yeahgnar
Hannah Pixie @hannahpixiesnow
Russell Winter @russellxwinter
Leonie New @leonienewtattoos
Sasha Masiuk @sashatattooing
Damien Thorn @damien.j.thorn
Ishi Neve @ishi_neve