>> Ross Currie

Have you seen the Black Cat around Fernwood?

Have you seen the Black Cat around Fernwood? It takes the form of a hand-poke tattoo studio and community art space opened up in August, owned and operated by Cate Webb.

Webb got into hand poke tattooing by way of stick and poke. “I got into stick and poking about seven years ago when I was 21, and I messed around with that for a while,” says Webb. “And then Instagram came around and I got to see a whole community of hand pokers beginning.” Around 2012 – 2013, Webb got more serious about her craft. “Hand poking as a trade and an art form has really taken off; and I started accessing the proper supplies, focusing on technique and making a good tattoo,” says Webb.

She’s no stranger to Fernwood, having worked at the Cornerstone Café for three years. “Coming back to Fernwood and having my own space and being a part of the business community as an independent business owner is really neat,” says Webb.

 Webb points to the connections she makes as the best part of tattooing. “With hand-poking it’s all about these connections and making sure people are comfortable, it’s more of a spiritual experience,” says Webb. She describes her style as being influenced by painting and drawing, memories from her childhood, imagery of the occult, witches and ghosts, and usually focuses on strong figures (predominantly androgynous or feminine), animals, and the relationships between them. Humility is an important aspect in Webb’s work, remembering that tattooing is “a really old tradition and there’s a lot of respect behind it.”

“People shouldn’t be afraid to come by and say hi and check out the space,” she says. The Black Cat will host art shows and feature guest tattoo artists (both machine and hand poke) throughout the year.