Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Where to for the Tattoo Museum?While I'm on the subject of corrections, I've just found out from a Capital Times article that the Tattoo Museum is not actually closing for good as I and the Dominion Post reported last week. It will definitely have to shift out of its current location by next Tuesday (since the building was leased well over a month ago), but the director is actively talking to potential alternative landlords and hopes to find a home for his collection next month.

This got me thinking: it's a great concept, but is Wellington really big enough to support such a specialised attraction as a Tattoo Museum? On the other hand, how about a "Museum of Adornment"? That could encompass fashion, wearable art (including a permanent exhibition of WOW winners), jewellery, body art and cinematic make-up as well as tattoos. That has many advantages: it should create enough critical mass to become a major attraction in its own right, there are a lot of crossovers between the fields, Wellington has a growing reputation in many of them, and it would lend itself to some very interesting retail opportunities to help fund it.

Also, I like to think that my old idea of a Tiki Tattoo bar still has some merit, and there's an interesting new development that might give life to the concept: 42 Below's new Seven Tiki rum. The Chaffers Dock complex still has some unleased ground floor space, and while we're probably getting weary of waterfront bars with corporate branding, in this case its perfectly appropriate, since the site is just a few metres from the garage that was the birthplace of the 42 Below brand.

Imagine it: sipping a Mojito or Mai Tai in the sun (okay, I'm allowed to dream) between the marina and the park, among decor created and inspired by some of Wellington's most creative (or possibly unhinged) individuals. Then combine that with a compact Museum of Adornment, small jewellery and clothing boutiques, gelato courtesy of Kaffee Eis (who are opening a branch there this summer) and regular musical (The Ukulele Orchestra?) or wearable arts performances, and you've got a uniquely Wellington attraction within staggering distance of Te Papa and Courtenay Place.


At 8:45 am, October 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the whole shebang sounds fantastic, I think the folk from Nelson would be slightly upset at loosing their WOW museum as well as WOW however...

At 11:40 am, October 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely any tribal scarification/tattooing museum could only ever belong in / off Upper Cuba St...?

At 12:08 pm, October 06, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

simon: Ah, I didn't know they had a WOW museum there. I do remember hearing Suzie Moncrieff on the radio saying that she was running out of space to keep her collection of winners, though.

anon: you're right, at least as far as any sort of museum belongs in Upper Cuba St. I could see it going one of two ways. Either it keeps its counter-culture emphasis, and ends up crammed into a bar, gallery or tattoo studio. Or it could go "mainstream" (and from what I remember of my one visit there, there were plenty of exhibits that would also suit a more traditional "museumy" environment), in which case it makes sense to seek synergies (I hate the word, but it's hard to avoid) with similar or overlapping art forms.

At 3:48 pm, October 09, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

As the strongest supporter of the Tiki Tatoo Bar idea, i feel ashamed that I came into this conversation late.

(Do we know who leased the old site?)

The Adornment Museum would probably run into the same problems as the original Tattoo Museum. And, yes, the Nelsonians already have it in for us across the straight. Chaffer's Dock might be a little too "nice" for a tiki bar. Possibly the ideal location is currently occupied by the Loaded Hog. Imagine some large Tiki gods in the water by the deck, flaming torches, fewer drunken skanks (but not none).

BTW I stacked up on 7 Tiki Rum when coming through duty free! Yet to taste it though, which is a shame.

At 7:15 pm, January 03, 2009, Blogger Unknown said...

I really want to know what house on Oriental has the garage that Geoff started 42Below from as a couple of people mentioned i might be in it now... do you know?

if so hit me at tim@planhq.com


Post a Comment

<< Home