WHO ARE WE?

We are Hemlock Tattoo,

 

Our team is made up of Taylor Hudson, Janeen Scott, Geneva Haley and Marlee Watts. Hemlock could not have happened without the combined energy of these four women. We have each contributed our unique skills, style, and talents to the foundation of this shop. We could not be more eager to share our space with you.

The privilege of tattooing is something we take incredibly seriously. Our love for this medium is illustrated in the work we produce, and the positive connections we have forged with our clients. We recognize the power and position we hold as tattooers and we want to use this platform to facilitate a creative space that values open communication and consent. We are committed to seeking out education relevant to our industry, and implementing that education into protocols and personal training in order to protect both client and tattooer. It is our priority to cultivate an atmosphere of transparency, where we encourage questions and curiosity about the tattooing process. We are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment for anyone interested in our services.

Our dedication is, first and foremost, to our clients. We promise professionalism, with an open line of communication at all stages of the tattooing process and a commitment to accommodating the needs and comfort of each individual who enters our shop. Our second most important priority is to create a tattooing process that not only produces beautiful art for our clients to be proud of, but also highly values a collaborative and non-judgmental practice of making our clients' ideas a reality. 

 

We want to take this opportunity not only to introduce ourselves as a proudly female owned and operated tattoo shop, but also as a space for community, growth, education and transparency, where ethical consent is always at the forefront. We are proud to be playing a role in pushing the tattoo industry forward and away from outdated norms and intimidating atmospheres. Our responsibility is to produce excellent tattoos while constantly working towards making the industry and the wider community a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.

Why we chose the name Hemlock Tattoo

We were attracted to using the name of a poisonous plant as a means of linking to something that has ancient, magical and symbolic significance but also as a way of subverting something dangerous into something nurturing. 

 

Poison Hemlock has associations with the Greek Sorceresses Circe and Medea, who are said to have used the potent plant in spell work and to dispatch enemies. The plant is also associated with the Devil and specifically with Lilith, an infamous female entity originating from Sumerian and Babylonian folklore who in early beliefs was a fearsome demon woman who preyed upon the innocent. Her narrative later evolved in the Middle Ages via Jewish folklore into the defiant first wife of Adam who refused to be subservient and thusly left the paradise of Eden, later to be replaced by Eve. 

The actual affects of the Hemlock poison paralyze the body and stop all functioning of the nervous system. Symbolically, this plant paralyzes all energies and puts a stop to something. In choosing this name we wanted to play a role in “paralyzing” the outdated and harmful norms of the tattooing industry and the wider culture around us. We are actively trying to stop these patterns of harm, harassment and abuse and to replace them with education, compassion and safety.

Finally, if an animal ingests Poison Hemlock and lives, their organs then carry the poison within and if that creature is then preyed upon by another animal, that animal will likely succumb to the poison and die. We carry within us the poison of past harm done to us and our community and those who seek to manipulate, take advantage of, or destroy the positive and safe atmosphere we have created: will only be harming themselves.

 

We use the symbol of Poison Hemlock as one of power, potency and subversion.

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Hemlock Tattoo would like to acknowledge our location and role to play within the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes: The Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations), and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We want to express our deep gratitude for the people of these nations for caring for the land and all the sacrifices they have made in doing so.

We want to acknowledge our privileged position to be operating on this extremely abundant land and to recognize that ALL people residing here are Treaty 7 people. In the spirit of acknowledging this history we want to conduct ourselves in a way that honours the Seven Teachings of the Blackfoot, Cree, and Ojibwe people. These teachings are comprised of courage, honesty, humility, love, respect, truth and wisdom and they perfectly encompass how we wish to operate and share space in Treaty 7 territory. 

We also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the indigenous origins and history of tattooing in North America as well as in a wider global context. Our modern western understanding of tattooing barely passes a glance at the deep, symbolic and sacred roots tattooing has in indigenous cultures. As a team we want to participate in changing this via the dissemination of information/education and supporting those who are working to revive and protect the ancestral tattoo techniques, motifs and patterns that colonialism sought to erase.

Thank you to Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes for her warmth, wisdom and guidance and to all future educators and experts for sharing their knowledge with us. We want to commit ourselves to continuing to amplify voices and seeking out the expertise of the historical stewards of this land we call home.

-Hemlock Tattoo

©2020 Hemlock Tattoo Studio. Created by the Bread & Butter Club.