geoff-ostling-offbeatinkWhat do an avid art lover, a passionately patriotic Australian, a retired history teacher and skin donation after death have in common? Ever heard of Geoff Ostling? He was awarded The Melbourne Cup of Tattooing for Best Overall Tattooed Male.

When I first saw a photo of this guy, I nearly fell off my seat. His gorgeous smile and beautiful skin would have been enough, but then to read his story and realise just what an unusual person he is made me grateful to have come across his name.
Now-retired history teacher Geoff Ostling, 65, has pledged to donate his full body (neck to ankle) skin to the National Gallery in Canberra. It has taken him decades to create his canvas. His partner in floral tattoo skin murals, for I can think of no other term to describe this work, is none other than tattoo artist de Medici. The work of art is entitled “All the flowers of a Sydney garden” and is a single piece of work.
The design incorporates over 60 individual flowers drawn from nature and not copied from a book or picture. Who else could possibly tolerate roses under his armpits and a “cornucopia of blue water lilies, orchids, and flowering gum sprawling across his belly and creeping up his backside”? He also has matching bear tattoos, shared with his long-term partner, and a ‘hidden’ penis rising proudly from his belly…

Geoff apparently wanted something unique, so he thought of recreating a garden of native Australian and imported plants which now inhabit this land. “To donate skin is not the most amazing thing in the world but the tattoos are revolutionary”, he says.
A Sydney taxidermist has already been put on alert to preserve Geoff’s skin when he dies. Ostling’s story was covered in an Australian documentary called ‘Anatomy’.

Now why could I not have had a history teacher like this?