Ladies and Gentlemen and everyone in-between - I am proud to say that my first stop motion experiment is finally complete!! It has been a rather lengthier process than originally anticipated but well worth the journey as I have learned a considerable amount about makeup, photography, lighting, animating and editing along the way - lessons I very much intend on carrying forward into the next installment :)
Painted is in essence an experiment that I embarked on in how to best animate body art and an attempt at giving a creative medium that I adore it's own personality. Along the way the paint started to take on a life of it's own and proceeded to lead me on a little adventure that pays homage to the many amazing artists who have inspired me over the years. The first few sequences were roughly storyboarded and went through several major changes as I started to learn more about what I was doing - whereas the latter came from moments of inspiration and developed more organically in a spur-of-the-moment kind of way.
Though I originally had a very different idea for the audio I found that the tempo of Flow Motion by my lovely friend Square One helped to give the images momentum they needed to keep ticking over happily. In the end I got so used to using the track when I showed the unedited version to friends or family that it became entwined with what I was doing and it therefore seemed fitting to scrap my initial ideas and keep it with the final cut :)
The animation has been online for a week or so now and I'm happy to say that despite it being just a silly experiment I've had some lovely feedback - including some very kind words from two of the incredible artists whose work inspired it :D
Roll up roll up all ye who dare and meet Don Alacrán - the twisted skeleton ringmaster who
lured his crew to death & a pact with Santa Muerte that would keep them partying, performing and
guzzling tequila until the end of time....
Just before leaving England this summer I organized a video shoot with Happy Slap Boutique and Fresh Cut Media to showcase one of the characters from our Boomtown Fair venue: El Espectáculo Esqueleto!!!
Inspiration for the character was drawn from Day of the Dead iconography, entwined with circus and embellished with ideas that sprung from Joe Fur's amazing mural which appears in the background for sections of the video. The candles emenating from the skeletons' heads in Joe's art were of particular inspiration so I endeavored to incorporate this element into the character through the costume. I spent a couple of days embellishing and decorating a top hat and constructing a pair of epaullets from various materials that could be attached to the shoulders adding a stronger silhouette to Don Alacrans painted jacket. All were topped with an array of candles which were detailed with paint and lit for sections of the filiming.
Due to time restrains with the location there wasn't as long as I'd have liked to do the painting but Grace McComisky, Tash Hobbs and I did what we could in the time allowed before our amazing actor Jason Wilkinson and his insanely expressive face dove into the depths of the character. Our new friend Pieter Snyman of Fresh Cut Media filmed (and subsequently edited) the video while the amazing Scott Salt got handy with his camera and produced some beautiful on set photographs.
Massive thanks go out to everyone involved including Balkan Beat Box for allowing us the use of their track (which can be downloaded for free here), to Mike Freear for finding and editing the track for us, to Markus for letting us use the location in the Coronet Theater, and to Dan for all of his help and directive input :D You're all amazing and thank you for helping bring Alacrán to life!
Happy Slap Video Time!
A quick scan through my recent (and not so recent) blog entries has led to the realization that I seem to have forgotten to share a few things from the summer with you lovely folk.... The first of these being the awesome video of Happy Slap Boutique at this years Kendall Calling festival made by the wonderful wizards of Fresh Cut Media! There should be a couple more videos heading your way in the near future - one showcasing Happy Slap Boutique's venue: 'El Espactaculo Esqueleto' at Boomtown Festival and another recent collaboration with Fresh Cut which we managed to shoot a couple days before I headed back to Australia... Oh yes - there's another thing I forgot to mention - I'm back in Australia!!!! Right now I'm busy making pieces for another creative collaboration with the glorious Donatella Parisini which will be closely followed by my return to Melbourne - just in time for Halloween!!!
This year's Boomtown Fair was once again an undeniably epic weekend of magical mayhem which I again spent working with Happy Slap Boutique. This year we moved from the chill out field into the city's new Latin Quarter aptly named 'El Barrio Loco', an area with a "fearsome reputation as the most full on party in town." To merge in nicely with the Mexican theme we presented Él Espactaculo Esquelto'' - a Day of the Dead themed skeleton sideshow which culminated in our biggest ever bodypainting project on the Sunday where a multitude of Happy Slappers got involved to produced seven skeleton bodypaints! For this skeleton extravaganza I painted the wonderful Miss Lizzie West who also posed as my canvas at last year's Boomtown and did a wonderful job of modeling both the bodypainting and the Die de los Muertos wig I made earlier in the year. The day before I also collaborated with Grace McComisky on a skeleton mermaid bodypaint that was done as a live performance on the stage of our venue during the day, modelled by the wonderful Gemma Hayley Daubney. A HUGE thank you to Scott Salt for all of his amazing work behind the camera - you sir are a legend!
Summer in England means one thing above all else - madness, mayhem and serious creative indulgence with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique!! We started the season at Kendall Calling - a lovely little festival near the divinely lush lake district - where we spent an absolutely beautiful weekend fully embracing the horror genre to accommodate this years movie based fancy dress theme. My fairly obvious love of circus imagery was fully indulged over the course of the weekend and culminated in an evil clown bodypainting which my fantastic model Delia fully rocked on stage on the Sunday night. A huge huge thank you to the entire Happy Slap family - especially to one Mr Michael Marks who is without a doubt the most amazingly committed photographer I've ever worked with at a festival - absolute legend!!!!!
For more photos of the weekend, including some beauties of our performers in action check out Happy Slap Boutique, and I'll have more photos from Kendall and our skeleton extravaganza at Boomtown coming your way very very sooon....
My favourite collaboration of the summer took place on the Sunday of Boomtown festival at Happy Slap Boutique. I teamed up with makeup artist Grace McComisky & visual artist Joe Furlonger who specialises in surreal cartoons & twisted illustration. Together we created a piece of live art/performance that focused around themes of body & pollution intermingled with natural elements - mirroring the festival environment. There's a very raw feeling to Boomtown that teeters on chaos & a post apocalyptic revelry swathed in a plethora of amazing artistic installations, sets & costumes - directly contrasting the natural beauty of the festival site with its green hills and lush patches of forest.
During the performance we bounced off each other to entwine elements of each others designs into our own - thus tying together the three artworks & resulting in some very stunning images taken by photographer Chris Little.
Thank you so much to everyone involved, especially our wonderful models Lizzie West & Delia Mur; it's always a pleasure working with you girls & there's nothing quite like seeing you bring our artwork to life.
For more photos of the collaboration please visit the Body Art Gallery.
I absolutely love painting on people with no/very little hair on their heads- there's so much space to play with! This summer at Kendall Calling and Boomtown with Happy Slap Boutique I had a couple of chances to let loose and fully decorate a couple of craniums. James, my model for the the black white and red piece, told me to do whatever I wanted so I improvised and opted to stick to a simple, striking colour scheme and try to produce something fun, bold and freaky. The brain was painted on my friend Scott Salt by request but looked a bit stranded and lonely perched up there by itself so I decided to extend the design down onto the face. Scott is an amazing photographer and was taking photos of Boomtown festival, so with this in mind I left the right side of his face paint free so it wouldn't interfere with his work. For more photos take a visit to the Makeup Gallery...
The Sunday of Kendall Calling festival this year saw a live body art collaboration with Grace McComisky at the glorious Happy Slap Boutique. The festivals fancy dress theme was Fairy Tales & Comic Books so after some careful deliberation we decided to draw inspiration from Lewis Carroll's much loved book & each produce a body painting that followed an Alice In Wonderland Theme. In preparation we each dressed a wig - mine to a Queen of Hearts theme and Grace's a White Rabbit. I built a cage to structure the hair around which also allowed a hiding place for the battery pack of some small heart-shaped fairy lights which I wove into the hair. The Queens crown is made from a collage of playing cards and gold paint which I designed to be sewn into the wig so as not to fall out of place during performance. To tie our two paintings together we both drew from the same colour palette of black, white, red & gold - using them to create individual pieces of work in our own particular styles. I was painting on the wonderful Lizzie West who I can't thank enough for her patience and incredible discipline that day - it was not a warm one....
That night Lizze & Delia performed a spectacular burlesque reveal of the paintings on the Happy Slap Stage, to the booming beats of Mike Fear of Slamboree's DJ set. Visit the Body Art Gallery for more photos & a video of their performance.
Kendall Face Painting
Pay a visit to the Makeup Gallery to see some new photos from this summer's fun & games with Happy Slap Boutique!
Hoorah for Happy Slap Boutique!
This summer I reunited with the amazing Grace McComisky and her spectacular company Happy Slap Boutique to bring magic, makeup & mayhem to England's festivals. For those of you who don't yet know Happy Slap is an amazing collective of makeup artists, djs, circus performers & actors who bring the party with them where ever they go! Fusing body art and prosthetics with music & performance it truly is the best place to be - and undoubtedly the most brilliant place to work. There is such huge opportunity for creativity at festivals & it's the perfect platform to experiment, try out new ideas and just go a little crazy on the make up front. Photos of my work from the summer, including two collaborative live body paints with Grace will be posted very very soon... While you wait why not pay the Boutique a visit at the Happy Slap website &/or their Facebook page to ensure you never miss an opportunity to join the party!