XO Temple Tattoo Studio opens in Kent Town

Tattoo studio XO L’Avant has branded to XO Temple and found a new home in Kent Town. Owner Jaya Suartika talks about the studio’s new chapter.

Image credit: Kerri Wright

XO L’Avant, located in the CBD’s The Mill on Angas Street, has been a popular hotspot for Adelaideans to get contemporary and traditional tattoos.

Established in 2015 by tattoo artist Jaya Suartika, XO L’Avant is now rebranding, finding a new home, and transforming into a multidisciplinary art space.

The Mill, South Australia’s leading multidisciplinary arts organisation, was meant to be a temporary studio space for Jaya to run XO L’Avant.

Six year later, Jaya has finally secured a stand-alone studio in Kent Town.

“I think it was fate,” said Jaya. “I always used to drive past this space and thought it was awesome.”

“A few friends knew I was looking for a space – we had a mutual friend, Robby (the main leaseholder of the space), and was looking for someone to fill the studio – so it worked out well.

“It was always the vision to be in a warehouse with lots of natural light. I also wanted a discrete location away from a main road.”

Tucked in behind Loxley’s Café and Attaboy Barbers, the new studio and new business name marks a new chapter for Jaya.

“When I first named by studio, I was doing a lot of travelling around Europe and I wanted something different.

“The XO comes from ‘exoskeleton’ – because tattoos are kind of like an exoskeleton – and L’Avant [a French word meaning before/forward] because I wanted something different and forward-thinking… I was learning French at the time,” said Jaya.

“Since we’ve moved to the new location, the name wasn’t really me anymore.”

Jaya was raised between Bali and Adelaide and grew up exploring the temples of Bali. After hand-painting the mural on the new studio floor, the new studio name came to him quite naturally.

“The space felt like a temple to me after I completed the mural on the floor. ‘Temple’ felt more relevant to me, considering my background.”

Now known as XO Temple, the tattoo studio will also double as a multidisciplinary art space called the XO Habit Room.

“The new studio has a back room, where our artists can do print-making, jewellery-making, as well as scan negatives and film. This plan is to have another output that isn’t just tattoos.

“We might do exhibitions in the café, and maybe even a zine!

“It’s going to be available to the tattooists that use the space and other residents, as well as travelling artists that do guest spots in the studio. Russell Winter was our first guest last week.”

XO Temple’s current line-up of tattoo artists includes Jaya himself, Kerri Wright, Kyle Woodman (aka YEAH DOPE), Lilly Pook-Ryan (aka BUSHWOMAN), Mark Mason, and Nadia Suartika (aka NADIKA).

XO Temple is open now.

XO Temple is located at 20 The Parade West, Kent Town 5067.

Follow XO Temple on Facebook and Instagram.

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