Tattoo artist who died tragically used Auckland music photographer as her final canvas

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An Auckland music photographer is grateful to have been one of the last canvases of his tattoo artist friend before she died suddenly.

 

No famous artist or rock band's gig could be more important than Connor Crawford's Bodies of Sound exhibition, dedicated to a friend who took her own life.
Source: Supplied

Connor Crawford, 24, is a creative soul who vowed to keep his promise to Rae, who died in October, of opening a photo exhibition showcasing his work.

She died two days after tattooing an astronaut floating away on balloons on Crawford's right leg.

Connor Crawford's let tattoo, by his dear friend "Rae".

Connor Crawford's let tattoo, by his dear friend "Rae".

Source: Connor Crawford

"Rae was a master of her craft and for her to believe in me made me feel boundless," he told 1 NEWS NOW.

"She was bubbly and genuine. She emitted a warm and enchanting light which I can still feel, even though she's elsewhere."

During the week of her wake, Crawford said emotions among Rae's family and mates were raw all around.

Even though those close to her were in tears, people still smiled and rejoiced underneath the pain, he said.

"On one hand, she lingers in my head and inspires me every day. On the other I find myself overwhelmed with sadness. It hurts to know how much she was hurting," he said.

"It [the tattoo] is something that we had been planning on doing for years. She used me as her canvas and I will always have her in my skin... I am grateful."

Bodies of Sound Music Exhibition poster. The event is next Saturday, March 25 at White Rabbit Ink on Auckland's Pitt Street.

Bodies of Sound Music Exhibition poster. The event is next Saturday, March 25 at White Rabbit Ink on Auckland's Pitt Street.

Source: Supplied

Crawford is a man whose talents behind the lens have seen him shoot stars like Queen, Justin Timberlake, Black Sabbath, Macklemore and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"For many years as a photographer, I never thought of myself as an artist; I was just a dude with a camera who took photos of other artists."

But no famous artist or rock band gig could be more meaningful to him than the opening night of his first music photography exhibition in a "unique and creative" tattoo parlour just off Auckland's K-Road.

Next week, he will open his first photographic exhibition called "Bodies of Sound: A Music Photography Exhibition".

Crawford's exhibition represents the intimate connection between a musician and their instrument of sound, whether it's a guitar, a microphone or a triangle.

Connor Crawford's friend "Rae" (pictured) is the reason he's opening his new exhibition.

Connor Crawford's friend "Rae" (pictured) is the reason he's opening his new exhibition.

Source: Supplied

It wasn't until a couple of years ago during a conversation with Rae that she pointed out Crawford was "undoubtedly an artist".

"She would see inside you, see your passions and relentlessly push you to achieve what you may consider 'the impossible'.

"Bodies of Sound exists because I want to show her that I achieved my 'impossible'."

The exhibition opens next Saturday, March 25 at Auckland's White Rabbit Ink on Pitt Street (just off K-Road).

If you or someone you know needs help, please refer to the following contacts:

Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz.

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