The Australian Body Art Awards 2018

By Chloe Gunn, a superstar artist and painting instructor at Paint for Fun

Last week, I was blown away by the display of creative talent at The Australian Body Art Awards, where each contestant designed and painted their own interpretation of this year’s theme, ‘A New Dawn.’ 


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On the morning of the competition, models and artists arrived at the crack of dawn, and each delicate, blank canvas was transformed over the course of the day. Eventually, as each living, breathing work of art took the stage, a collection of beautiful stories unfolded and the transformation of the human form was striking.

The event was the culmination of a larger body art convention, involving classes and workshops taught by some of the best in the field. It turns out that there’s a lot to learn, and so many areas of expertise in this dynamic art form ranging from special effects (think grotesque demons and bloody zombies) and 3D painting, which creates optical illusions, through to fluoro designs that take on a life of their own under UV light.

Each performance offered a window into another dimension, featuring everything from a brave new world of robots, through to fantasy realms of birds and beasts, magic and wonder. The beauty of the art form is best revealed in movement, which highlights the quality and detail of design. Slower performances provided the best opportunity to admire the works’ intricacies.

Keeping proceedings cracking, the MC was fun and friendly with a magic trick or two up his sleeve – at one point pulling two rabbits out of a hat and bringing a painting of a bird to life.

The winner? Well, she’d transformed her model into a large blue snake, mouth wide open, ready to strike. It was a bold design with a clever use of the human form, and the attention to detail captured the spirit of the snake.