Published on April 03, 2017 by Made Better Media


Genre: Spoken word - Live action

Status: Available - In Production


"True tattoos only come from true agony"

For Patrick Bates, modern tattoos are commercialised, often tacky , rarely edgy, and widely available at low cost. More to the point, they don't hurt like they used to. 

Patrick is a traditional stick 'n' poke tattoo artist. Using his 6'7" body as his canvas he’s almost at a point of self-completion, with over 300 tattoos.

As Patrick shares his poem 'Something/Nothing', the voyeuristic camera lingers on the painful process of a stick 'n' poke session. Patrick administers a tattoo onto a willing victim with a very, very large needle, jabbing it into the skin over a thousand times. Conventional tattooing using an electric gun is, by comparison, a relaxing experience. 

The poem ponders the concept of 'peak tattoo'… the point of maximum output before a steep and terminal drop in production.

A mix of spoken word and cinematic visuals, by turns seductive and challenging, Stick 'n' Poke is an exploration of modern tattoos as seen through the eyes of a true believer.