A sacred tattoo ritual: RIP Andrew Henderson

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Terminally ill performance artist Andrew Henderson created a live art piece in which strangers told him their secrets and then watched them be tattooed on his body. He passed away just days later.

The 28-year-old artist was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma two years ago which was then claimed incurable one year ago.

Prior to his performances, Andrew told the Toronto Star: “death has been the greatest gift of my life because it allowed me to fully embrace my true and honest self. Everything comes into perspective pretty quickly (when you’re dying). All you can be is your best self.”

At this sacred ‘death ritual’, family, friends and strangers joined Andrew at a gallery in Toronto to divulge their ideas for his tattoos. Together, they found symbolic representations for the images which were then tattooed live by local artist Carly Boyce. Andrew hoped that the interactive performance, named Taking It To The Grave, would encourage people to talk about death.

What a beautiful project that celebrated life, death, tattoos and a talented individual. Rest in peace Andrew.

“I’m OK if there’s nothing, I’m OK if there’s heaven. Whatever it is, I’m OK with it.”
Andrew Henderson

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Photo credit: Lyle Stafford / Toronto Star

Read the full story on the Toronto Star website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s