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Australian Body Art Awards – Melbourne 2014

by Kate Matthews

IF NOTHING ELSE, last night’s Australian Body Art Awards in Melbourne prove Aussie body artists are world class when it comes to talent. While audience numbers were down on last year, the level of expertise on display was not.

The show was entertaining and moved along at a good pace; Ill Will kicking things off with an electric performance on stage, showing off his impressive torso painted by Toowoomba’s Kelli MacAlpine.

After taking out runner up in last year’s SFX class, it was disappointing to see Kelli did not compete in this year’s event. But seeing her work on stage displayed by the exuberant Ill Will was a bonus: he was a big hit with the ladies!

The models are to be congratulated on their performances too. Many clearly coming from a dance background which greatly enhanced the display of body art.

Unfortunately as I was seated several rows back from the stage it was difficult to see some of the action as some of the models spent a lot of the time low to the ground. There was also a tendency for a few to retreat to the rear of the stage – I guess it’s a confidence thing, but I wanted them to come forward so the audience could see better, especially with some of the more intricate designs in the Brush and Sponge Class.

Nonetheless the standard across the board was high for both artists and models.

For me, there were two categories that really stood out; Costume and UV.

Both lend themselves well to the stage and the audience was clearly impressed – I can’t imagine judging was easy.

While I wait for the winner’s names to be published – I can tell you Carolyn Henwood from Tasmania took home Highly Commended for her work in Brush and Sponge; Katrina Sparks was awarded first place in SFX for (one of my favourites) her mythic underwater creature; and Kyla Morgan from Western Australia won Costume.

I will update the winner’s names as soon as they are published – and I know you’re dying to see photos and hopefully I can also get my hands on some to share with you – photography was only allowed with a permit and I will need to have permission to publish them here too.

For now I’m heading off to a full day workshop with Nick Wolfe (yay!), and over the next few days will take workshops with some amazing face and body artists; Jenny Saunders, Lynne Jamieson, Josh Counsel, Lisa-Marie McKinnon among them…. the list is long and great.



This entry was posted on March 30, 2014 by in news and feature stories and tagged , , , , , .
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