A bold reveal of a rose tattoo opens this 1980 documentary on tattooing in New Zealand. The potted history includes visits to tattoo parlours on K' Road and Hastings, and the studios of industry legends Steve Johnson and Roger Ingerton. Tattooists discuss public stigma, people's reasons for getting inked, and popular designs: sailors, serpents, swallows and tā moko. Made for documentary slot Contact, Skin Pics chronicles a time when "folk art has become high art". Director Geoff Steven later made tattoo documentary Signatures of the Soul, narrated by Easy Rider legend Peter Fonda. He writes about both docos here.
It takes the inner man and puts him on the outside where he can be seen.– A definition of tattoo, from the narration