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Titanic tattoos are making waves: Ink enthusiasts from across the globe gathered in Belfast

By Amanda Ferguson

Ink enthusiasts from all over the globe gathered in Belfast to celebrate their eye-catching body of art at the first Titanic International Tattoo Convention.

Across three days, award-winning tattoo artists from France, Hungary, Poland, Scandinavia and elsewhere were busy creating new art work at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.

Many took the city's rich maritime heritage to heart. More than 100 years after the Belfast-built Titanic sank it is still making its mark – in a very visible way.

Appropriately for the venue, Marcello Cestra from Italy showed off Titanic-inspired designs on his body.

They include pictures of Holywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the stars of James Cameron's 1997 globally successful film about the doomed vessel built at Harland & Wolff.

Marcello had travelled from Rome with brother Marco to attend the convention.

"We saw the movie for the first time together and from that moment we loved that story," he said.

Another person sporting tattoos linked to Belfast's rich maritime heritage was Newtownabbey man John Pollock.

The 31-year-old's back is completely covered in Titanic symbols, including the world-famous ship, the Titanic Belfast building, the original Harland & Wolff drawing offices and the shipyard's iconic cranes.

In keeping with the Titanic theme, many visitors dressed up in 1912 period costumes yesterday.

One of the UK's most tattooed men made an appearance at the event where he turned heads.

Gerald McLaughlin from Scotland has tattoos over nearly 100% of his face and body.

But body art is not just the preserve of men.

Jessica Withers and Gem Ellerby were among the women sporting tattoos, including full sleeves and face symbols at the convention.

On the convention's Facebook page one man said: "Well done to the team that organised it all. Hope it's the first of many."

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