Meet the woman behind this iconic Canberra thigh tattoo

Silvana Moro's Canberra-themed ink went viral online. Pictures: Karleen Minney
Silvana Moro's Canberra-themed ink went viral online. Pictures: Karleen Minney

You've seen her thigh, now it's time to find out more about the woman behind the viral Canberra icon tattoo.

Lifelong Canberran Silvana Moro took hometown pride to a new level last February when she got a tattoo displaying a collection of loved and loathed ACT landmarks.

A picture of Ms Moro's thigh went viral this week after being reshared online.

The artwork is by tattoo artist Hayley Jade, and features a combination of iconic Canberra landmarks including the Telstra Tower, a concrete bus shelter and some more controversial landmarks such as the Belconnen owl sculpture and the pillow sculpture at Garema Place

"I came up with the concept in January 2020 - my brief was 'Canberra as the Avengers'," Ms Moro said.

She said the tattoo was all about representing her home and praising its public art.

"If we don't have this smattering of art in Canberra then what else do we have? Pollies? Students?" she said.

"I think this kind of art in Canberra gives the city an extra kind of flavour, a little bit of spice.

"The main attraction of this piece is the Skywhale, she's what started this thing.

Silvana Moro shows off her 'iconic' tattoo. Picture: Karleen Minney

Silvana Moro shows off her 'iconic' tattoo. Picture: Karleen Minney

"[Skywhale] is a feminist icon, she's wonderful, obscure, absurd, and completely iconic of my Canberra.

"Telstra Tower always signified home for me. It is the centre of my little universe.

"The bus stops ... obviously, they are iconic of Canberra. They scream Canberra.

"[The concrete bus shelters] don't all look exactly the same but that's what's so wonderful about them.

"Some have graffiti, some have art on them, some have writing all over.

"The owl on Belconnen way ... it doesn't look like an owl, I don't understand ... who approved that? I need to know and then thank them for it."

Other landmarks, such as the Garema Place "goon sack" are particularly nostalgic.

"It's from my teenage years, being a mall rat, hanging around and being in the city, it was the meeting spot," she said.

The tattoo also depicts an artwork Ms Moro took time to appreciate, the Rhizome sculpture on Gungahlin Drive.

It's not the first time Ms Moro has had a photo of hers go viral.

In 2018, she and her then partner attended a friend's Halloween party.

The pair went as a French KISS, twisting the term to mean a Parisian rendition of glam rock band KISS.

A week after the party, Ms Moro found out the photo of her costume had gone viral on Reddit, after a friend of a friend posted the image to the site.

"The post had got 60,000 notes, and there was a while where if you searched for something generic like Halloween costume we would come up," she said.

She said most responses to her tattoo have been positive, but she also understands the tattoo may get under some people's skin.

While she's happy for her ink to start a conversation about Canberra's urban landmarks, Ms Moro reminded others the tattoo is about her relationship with home.

"Skywhale was a good example, she was quite divisive ... but she was created for Canberra and she's [iconic to] Canberra, whether or not you agree or not," she said.

"I've seen people commenting 'Oh this isn't particularly Canberran, this isn't particularly iconic'.

"[The tattoo] is my Canberra ... you can't tell me what's iconic to Canberra for me."

This story Hometown woman's love for Canberra is more than skin deep first appeared on The Canberra Times.


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