A bold reveal of a rose tattoo opens this 1980 documentary on tattooing in New Zealand. A potted history of the practice punctuates visits to parlours on K Road and Hastings, and the studios of industry legends Steve Johnson and Roger Ingerton. Interviews with tattooists roam from public stigma and motivations for getting inked, to popular designs (sailors, serpents, swallows) and tā moko. Made for documentary slot Contact, the film chronicles a time when "folk art has become high art". Director Geoff Steven later made globetrotting tattoo documentary Signatures of the Soul, narrated by Easy Rider legend Peter Fonda.
It takes the inner man and puts him on the outside where he can be seen.– A definition of tattoo, from the narration