May 17th, 2016
‘Urban Jungle’, the theme of this year’s Paintopia Festival in Norwich, saw an explosion of colour paint an otherwise dreary English day. Exotic animals vied with urban influences as the 48 competitors on the Friday exercised their imagination to create stunning works of bodypaint. With the titles of Solo Painter of the Year, Body Painter of the Year with Assistant and SFX Bodypainter of the Year up for grabs, co-founder Jennie Roberts kindly guided us around the bright tent to show us everything.
Up on the stage Jennie’s co-founder Cat Finlayson was hard at work creating a pseudo-camouflage paint, the ‘wall’ attached to the model’s back wherever she went so she could remain blended. Next to her was Madelyn Greco, the five time consecutive world champion at the World Bodypainting Festival, and the only one to do so in all the categories. She was creating a colourful and stylistic design, while Matteo Arfanotti worked beside her on his design inspired by the creepy-crawlies which live in and around the home. At the end of the stage was Pashur, whose body art was of intertwined jungle creatures and touches of animal print seamlessly blended together.
Branka Vorkapic was busy demonstrating by the Mistair stand, using their vibrant paints to create her Wanderlust-inspired, tie-dye design. They had their Airlite hairpaints front and center, a brilliant array of both natural and fantastical shades. At the back of the tent Kryolan’s Gemma Horner and Paul Merchant carefully inked delicate fairy designs onto a background inspired by Avatar’s planet Pandora, with shifting purples and blues. They showed us some ornamentations they had created for another look over the weekend using their delicate Fish Skin, covered in crystals and gems to catch the light, which could then easily be shaped to apply to the face.
Magic Box were there for the first time, celebrating their 30th birthday, with artist Dawn Knight on hand to demonstrate their huge range of paints. Across the hall lay the Online Alley, sponsored by The Makeup Light and Mehron. Ready for the weekend, artist Jo Peters showed me where the artists would be working. The artists, who have built up cult followings solely on social media, were invited to demonstrate their skills in a live capacity. Mehron had their full bodypaint range available for the artists, including the four new shades in their Paradise Pisma range.
We were so impressed by the skill and creativity shown by all of the painters this year. The quality was higher than ever, with so many different interpretations of theme. Congratulations to everyone involved, and a huge thanks to Jennie and her team for inviting us.
Here are the results from the Friday competitions. You can find our full album of images here.
Solo Bodypainter of the Year 2016 sponsored by Kryolan UK
3rd: Katie Du’Mont with model Emily Quantrill
2nd: Jenny Marquis with model Grace Williams
1st: Tera Bakker with model Noor The
Bodypainter of the Year with Assistant 2016 sponsored by Mehron UK
3rd: Carla Jayne assisted by Shelley Gray, model Molly Robbo
2nd: Mel Broom assisted by Sally Rose, model Louise Neale
1st: Karen Harvey assisted by Clare Jeffery, model Cilicia D Elvin
SFX Bodypainter of the year 2016 sponsored by Paintopia
3rd: April PaintyPixie Hernandez with model Ruby Trix
2nd: Brierley Thorpe with model Laura Draycon
1st: Suzanna Forrister-Beer with model Kelly Grimshaw