Redgie Walker-Smith of Soul Wise Tattoos in Kaiapoi specialises in cultural tattooing including ta moko but additionally celtic and nordic designs. The mix of cultures is a absorption of who we are and the apple we animate in, he says.
Kaiapoi boom artisan Redgie Walker-Small is arduous the acceptance tourists are cheapening the Māori moko, adage they are absolutely allowance to accumulate it alive.
Walker-Small specialises in cultural art, but he does not stop at the moko. He loves Celtic and Nordic designs too, and is added than blessed to mix the styles and embrace added affiliated boom forms.
“If there is a new affiliated appearance out there I’m all about jumping on board.
“If I didn’t do Celtic and Nordic as able-bodied I wouldn’t be actuality accurate to myself. That’s the apple we animate in now.”
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Some anticipation affiliated tattooing chock-full at the Pacific but this aloof wasn’t the case, he said.
Walker-Small does not analyze as Māori or Pakeha, his ancestor is a mix of Tokumaru, Tainui and European descent, and believes we are all on the aforementioned waka.
“We all accept to authority easily at some point, there’s a accomplished lot of bodies in the world.”
Born in Rotorua, Walker-Small has confused about New Zealand as able-bodied as Australia. The agog surfer started out as a clear artist afterwards earning a scholarship to abstraction mutli-media, but the chic he enjoyed the best was acquirements the basics of Māori and Tīkanga.
Actuality accomplished by some amazing artists including the backward “good soul” Miles Kau Kau and abounding others gave him afflatus as able-bodied as a acceptable compassionate of affiliated art.
Swapping the clear architecture apple for boom art was an accessible accommodation and he is in his aspect allowance bodies forth their journey, whether it be to recognise their whakapapa or aloof “get a appealing tattoo”. He is not afraid up on tourists activity home with a allotment of Māori ink. In actuality he says the day-tripper bazaar is befitting it alive, not to acknowledgment befitting him and others in a job.
“Some bodies do anguish about our designs actuality bastardised, but absolutely it’s about alive yourself – anybody should accept their own perspective.
“All legends are belief with a little bit of accuracy so we can claiming the past, and we accept to recognise that attitude changes over time.”
That actuality said, there are some things he would accumulate for iwi, such as rāperāpe and facial moko.
“That’s a account affair for the bodies before.”
Examples of Walker-Small’s art can be begin on his website, redgiessoulwisetattoo.com
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