Red Spade Studio incorporates a range of creative endeavours
VALENTINA Messina, aka Penny Lane, and Federico Barbaro (Reverbero), have founded a fascinating business on Albert Walk, incorporating tattoo art, music and visual arts.
The couple live in Ballybrack and spent months looking for the right place before setting up in Bray a few months ago. Currently established as a tattoo studio, they plan to install recording studios upstairs in the coming months.
‘We created everything from nothing, everything was white,’ Valantina said of the space, which they have stamped with their own unique mark. There are guitars hanging on the wall, and visitors are welcome to pick them up and jam if they so wish.
‘We wanted to give people the chance to get inspired,’ said Valentina. ‘So it’s about everything – visual, music. We are specialised in custom things – custom art, custom design, custom tattoos. So it means that we need to speak with the people to take out their ideas and point of view. The kind of design created here, it’s based on the person. It’s not something we copy on the internet.’
Federico has been a musician for the past 20 years. In Italy, he played keys in a reggae band and has more recently picked up his guitar again.
‘I am also into a new project with Valentina, which is ska-reggae-punk,’ he said.
‘I was an anthropologist before in Italy,’ said Valentina. ‘I was studying cultures. I was specialising in eastern cultures with Sanskrit and all these kind of things. When I started with tattoos I already had this thought of “what is the real feeling of the tribe?” When we met we tried to make a fusion of all of this including art and feelings, it’s a way to express the self.’
Valentina has been in Ireland for two and a half years. She travelled the world before finding her place here. Then Federico left Italy to join her in Ireland.
‘We arrived in Bray because we had in Dun Laoghaire some business advice,’ said Valentina. ‘We went to ask about the right business in the right place. Every one of them indicated Bray.’
As creative people, they faced a paperwork challenge when it came to being fastidious with their accounts, books, and in filling out forms – but they were determined to do it all properly. They had to ask a lot of people for information about what their responsibilities were in terms of setting up a business properly.
‘In order to make something work you need to do everything properly and follow the rules,’ said Valentina. ‘It’s the only way to be relaxed and have no problems.’
Look up Red Spades Studio on all social media to find out more.
Penny Lane and Reverbero at Red Spade Studio on the Albert Walk