Tattoo sign rejected
A SANDWICH board image of a scantily clad woman, curvy in all the right places, is offensive according to Clarence Valley Council, leaving the owners of a new Grafton tattoo parlour pondering their options.
The footpath advertisement features a cartoon image of a busty woman with erect nipples in a red bikini and a tattoo artist with devil-like horns in the background.
According to the co-owner of Kronic, Niki McKenzie, the image is famous within tattoo circles.
"The image is no more risqué than anything you might find in a surf shop where there are posters of young women in skimpy bikinis and lingerie shops where mannequins are dressed in corsets and G-string underwear," she said.
"We sell art and we should be able to show that."
An application for the sandwich board image to be placed on the main footpath of Grafton's Prince St was made to council and paid for, she said. The approval process should have only taken a week.
Four weeks later the owners of Kronic, located in Harvey's Arcade, were told that the image they already had on display would have to go.
"We have suggested other images like dragons and Koy-fish designs, but these were knocked back, too," said co-owner Luke McLachlan.
When the owners said they wouldn't worry about having a sandwich board and asked for their application money to be returned, the council said this wasn't possible because the payment had already been processed, he said.
While there were delays in processing the application for the sandwich board because staff were on holidays, this did not change the fact that there had been complaints about the image, the Clarence Valley Council's manager of environment and open spaces Peter Birch said.
"The sign hadn't ever been approved and when our rangers went to have a look at it, they agreed it wasn't acceptable for a public space. This is the main footpath where young people and the elderly regularly go," he said. "The CVC isn't comfortable with the image."
He said there may be comparable sights on the main street but they weren't on public land.
"What people see when they choose to enter a shop, or what is on display in a shop window, is not under the control of council.
"But we regulate what happens on public land. We can't stop them displaying their sign in the arcade; that is private property."
According to Mr Birch the council is still waiting to receive notification from the tattoo parlour owners about an alternative image.
There are other tattoo shops in Grafton that have signage that isn't a problem for the CVC, Mr Birch said.