It was ten years ago when I got the ‘tri-spiral’ tattooed on my upper arm. A cliqued place for a young Irish man to be inked, and even more unoriginal a Celtic symbol. It was at the time a quasi-rebellious, if pathetically tame, act of self-expression and body ownership. I say was because had I been born five to ten years later, the perceived norm has become littering yourself with every pop icon symbol or phrase you saw once, liked and can barely comprehend the depth of.
I’ve chosen a beautiful drawing by Andrea Bowers, which is based on Walter Crane’s 1894 Offering for May Day as the photo for this piece on purpose. Walter’s original was published in a socialist magazine and Bowers reimagined version can be seen in London’s Tate Modern. Theoretically this should be seen as a progression because the symbol has become immortalised in art and lauded as a masterpiece in the modern day. However, in reality, it seems to symbolise society’s desire to romanticise symbols for their aesthetic beauty and not their message.