Once more tis that saccharine day of the year
That sets singletons glugging down gin, wine and beer.
A consumer frenzy for teddies and chocs,
And velveteen roses and novelty socks.
Whilst some of you slip on your best neglige,
You'll hear others cry "screw this crap holiday!"
They'll view cosy couples with sneers of distain,
Rolling their eyes while love sips its champagne.
If your once sweet lover morphed into a swine
Drop in and visit Ms. Voodoo Valentine.
Tell her your troubles of love that you lost,
She'll settle your scores at a reasonable cost.
For lies she'll prescribe a pin straight to the tongue -
This induces swelling and lisping is fun!
Escapades with the maids call for pins to the... well
Let's just say they'll be stuck with a horrible smell.
Whatever your gripe she'll get straight to the point,
But once she is done you'd best scarper the joint.
For if your eyes meet and her heart's set ablaze,
Twill be pins in your heart till the end of your days...
Model: Lilu Stella
Photography: Donatella Parisini
Makeup/Voodoo Dolls/Border Graphics: Elvis Schmoulianoff
Now and again I find myself in a complete flurry where every passing second seems to add to a gradual build up of flustered madness. The 23rd December 2014 was one of those days. Frantically trying to organise what felt like several thousand things at once I came across a link a friend had send me calling out for submissions for a local film festival. The deadline was hours away, the modest and undeniably fair entry fee was all I had in the bank, I have only ever made one very silly piece of film and the simple undemanding entry process seemed equivocal to asking a man with no hands to build a castle out of feathers in the midst of a typhoon.
However a sneaky little voice of determination kept finding its way to my ear through the clouds of chaos so, after spending whatever amount of time discovering the joys of reformatting, capturing stills, filling out forms and chatting to a lovely man called Shane with a beautiful sounding paddock following a series of bouncing emails - all was done and subsequently quite soon forgotten in the whirlwind of December festivities.
Fast forward to yesterday morning: while enjoying a cup of coffee in my favourite seat of my favourite cafe in Mullmumbimby my phone started shimmying across the table, buzzing merrily. It was the lovely and aforementioned Shane calling to tell me that animation had made it into the finalists for the film festival! What a joyous surprise!! It seems that on occasion, even when you have a 'To Do' list as long as your left leg (which I am am convinced is slightly longer than the right one) - adding one more item to the mix can turn out to be rather a jolly good idea :)
Flickerfest 2016 runs from 22nd - 24th this month and all screenings will be taking place at Mullumbimby's Civic hall with the All Shorts competition screening on the Saturday. Should you be in the area and like myself are rather partial to the magic of short films click here to buy tickets.
Lay Down Your Guns
Last year I was lucky enough to be part of an amazing team on the production of 'Lay Down Your Guns' - a music video directed by Juliet Carrington for local artist Dan Hannaford. Despite managing to fall over quite spectacularly in the dark that morning trying to find the bathroom - which resulted in the most bizarrely awkward spasming my arm has ever been victim to - the day went quite beautifully :)
Shot in 12 hours over a plethora of locations in Byron Shire, NSW - this wonderfully produced music video echoes the feeling of old Spaghetti Westerns with a touch of Wes Anderson and follows an outlaw cowboy on the run from a Native American girl, with a charming twist at the video's conclusion. I loved the story concept as soon as Juliet told me and was further hooked when I heard Dan's song. was very grateful to be allowed creative input into the ideas and designs for the makeups - conceiving a very simple idea that tied the beginning to the end so to speak - trying not to give away any spoilers here ;) . The girls costume and makeup were checked rigorously with a great family friend of the Hannafords who himself is Native American, to ensure no inadvertent disrespect would be caused through their usage/application :)
Cowboy: Dan Hannaford
Warrior Woman: Kiani Newman
Mother: Emma Cloherty
Cowboy Child: Sonny Cloherty
Warrior Child: Summer Renolds
Director | Producer | Editor: Juliet Carrington (Set Apart Productions)
Cinematography: Jared Bazley
Camera Assistant: Kyrin Bazley
Make Up Artist: Elvis Schmoulianoff
Colourist: Jared Bazley
Casting: Nicole Hannaford and Juliet Carrington
Costumer: Nicole Hannaford and Juliet Carrington
Costume Design: Nicole Hannaford and Juliet Carrington
Office Production Assistant: Nicole Hannaford
Story written by: Juliet Carrington
Publicity / Management
Dragging Canoe Records, Byron Bay
* * * * *
Thanks to you all for a beautiful day!
DeVour Magazine: Culture Jam
*** I am very excited to announce a new editorial in this months DeVour Magazine!!!! ***
This series all started with a incredible hat I stumbled across in a charity shop one fateful afternoon in 2014. I immediately knew I had to feature it in a shoot and became engrossed in designing an accompanying makeup to do the piece justice. In my research I rediscovered my intrinsic love for the plethora of tribal and traditional artwork humankind has produced over the centuries - our capacity for creation is truly incredible!! Inspired by elements of cultural dress, architecture, jewellery and tribal bodyart from across the globe I gradually pieced together each look as a celebration of colour and tribute to the handiwork of the unknown artists who set my artistic flame alight. The series also gave me a fantastic opportunity to start experimenting with graphics as a way to pull all the images together as a set and add a little more fun and colour in the process.
A huge thank you to The Silver Lining Mullumbimby, Anita Caffyn and Louise Lassay for helping me source the pieces, to my amazingly patient model Jessie James and her chameleon eyes, to Donatella Parisini for her beautiful photography and invaluable advice and of course to Christine at DeVour Magazine for publishing the final photos.
It's all about Alice....
On February 14th while many were drowning in kitch love cards, heart shaped chocolates and poems cheesy enough to make your eyes bleed, people gathered in over 200 countries to stand together and speak out against domestic violence.
V-Day has been gathering momentum over the last decade - encouraging the use of creativity to speak out against violence towards women. Photographer Donatella Parisini instigated this project with the aim to create a series of three strong visual art pieces communicating that violence effects women from all walks of life and causes a lasting imprint of both physical and emotional pain on its victims. A huge thank you to our beautiful model Jessie James for her skill, time and patience in helping us bring this project to life.
The final photos were donated to V-Day in the hope the message they communicate might help raise further awareness about this important issue.
For more information on V-day and how you can help and join the 1 Million Rising visit www.V-Day.org
Jamming with Naz
A cheeky little afternoon shoot from my last trip to Melbourne - inspired by my beautiful friend Naz and a rather funky pair of Frothlyfe sunglasses.
Very happy to announce that my work can now be found in the month's issue of Elegant Magazine!
This shoot was coordinated to showcase the wonderful handmade creations of Amanda Dudley Millinery and features the beautiful sisters Teilia and Elle May Smith. All photography and styling by my amazing friend Donatella Parisini, with big thanks to Louise Lassay & Byron Amaya for their invaluable assistance.
Eye of Horus Goddess Shoot
Eye of Horus are a lovely, family owned company currently based in Byron Bay. The team who make up this rising cult brand have absolute hearts of gold - they have formulated beautiful, award winning makeup for sensitive eyes, are wholly against animal testing and have recently set up their own charity to help support and empower women all over the world.
These photos are from a recent shoot showcasing their beautiful Teal Malachite pencil alongside Brow Define in Dynasty, Goddess Mascara & their soon to be re-released Isis Palette. Please note that Eye of Horus pencils & Goddess Mascara contain beeswax & as such are not vegan. However as I know the company well and appreciate their ethics I was, and am, happy to collaborate with them.
Model: Cait Provan
Jewellery: Meeska & EOH
Photography: Donatella Parisini.
Creating Avant Alice
When I was asked to create a look for this years Salon Melbourne the lovely folk at Kryolan Australia asked that I do something more geared towards the avant garde than beauty - a request I was more than happy to accommodate :) I decided on a tribute to Alice in Wonderland and having recently done a recreation of one of Tenniel's classic Alice illustrations (photos coming soon!) I wanted to try a different angle and create a modern & abstract interpretation of the text. Finding a model with the right look was particularly important to ensure that there was a grounded connection with the Alice we all know and love so I was incredibly fortunate to find the lovely (not to mention talented) Yana Martens whose bright blue eyes and long blond hair - not to mention amazing bone structure - provided a perfect base for my designs :)
"Avant Garde" denotes experimentation - so in designing the look I took inspiration from elements of Alice's adventures that sparked my imagination and used to project to experiment with a few things I hadn't done before;
The Text Itself...
The first time Alice's Adventures were put to paper it was handwritten by Carroll in a beautiful book (Alice's Adventures Underground) later presented to Alice Liddell as a gift and which is now a feature piece of the British Library's collection in London. I personally love Carroll's handwriting and thought it would be nice to incorporate something from Alice's beginnings so set to work photographing the pages and extracting snippets of text in Photoshop. Using blank tattoo paper I was able to transfer Carroll's handwriting directly onto my model and integrate it into the makeup.
The Distortion of Proportion
The asymmetrical triangle that makes up a large part of the makeup design was as much a nod to Carroll's history with mathematics and the chess game in Through the Looking Glass as it was to the rules of perception. Our eyes will immediately go to the darkest park of an image - be it consciously or not - and black also has the ability to make things look smaller than they actually are. My aim was to use the asymmetry of the triangle to balance out the slight asymmetry of the face - and also to provide a stark contrast to Yana's incredible blue eyes.
Throughout Alice's adventures in Wonderland she frequently undergoes dramatic changes in size - at one point she shares height with a caterpillar at another she is swaying above the tree tops musing on if she'll ever see her feet again... how do her clothes stay in one piece I ask you??! Well in this case - they don't.... I stained a wonderful piece of woven net fabric (a treasured find from a garage sale) blue with a pot of ink as a reference to Alice's traditional blue dress. The loose weave allowed me to easily fit the piece to Yana on the day of the expo - over a black boob tube and high waited pants which I chose to balance the makeup design and provide a continuation of block black areas.
Through The Looking Glass
The second of Alice's Adventures is equally as dear to me as the first and I became very set on somehow integrating pieces of mirror into the makeup. After debating a couple of ideas I started daydreaming about mirror eyebrows and with the help of the lovely Craig from Sunrise Glass followed by an intense 4 hour session with an amazing grinding wheel the dream became a reality. This was actually a lot of fun as I LOVE learning to work with new materials and equipment and am incredibly fortunate to have an amazing father who is always happy to teach me how to use the plethora of crazy tools in the shed :D
As Alice's adventure's come to an end in through the looking glass she is crowned a Queen so what else was there to do but to give my Alice a crown all of her own? Following on with the play on proportion I decided it should be a rather tiny one which I crafted using an old IPA bottle with the help of some scissors, a heat gun and a tidy pile of acrylic paint. Salon Melbourne is of course a celebration of hair as well as makeup so I set myself the challenge of creating a style that incorporated and element of symmetry as well as creating a softness around the face to contrast the makeup design.
I played around for an afternoon with a styling head I had lying around from my Uni days taking inspiration from a massive old book of period hairstyles I was lucky enough to find in a charity shop. After finally settling on a design I set to work practicing the style so as not to loose preparation time on the day of the event... and also to work on making it as neat as possible.... goddamn those flyaway hairs!
Painting the Roses Red
This was one of my favourite elements of the makeup and one I left to complete while giving my talk on stage. When Alice finally makes it to the beautiful gardens she comes across a few cards haphazardly painting accidentally planted white roses red - in the hope that the tyrannous Queen of Hearts won't notice.... well we all know how that goes. To translate this into the makeup I laid down a base of white on the lips - using a pencil and cream eyeliner to ensure it wasn't so moist as to to allow the colours to run into each other. I then roughly applied a coating of red over the top with the lips pursed, picking up texture and allowing you to see the white coming though. This technique is particularly effective when using liquid lipsticks as they dry matte and do not bleed into the undercoat - very handy indeed! However if that's not a product you have handy red cake eyeliner will do the trick!
Last but not least came the idea of the little white gloves which the White Rabbit so incongruously demands Alice fetch from his house. These allowed for a continuation of white through the design - starting at her crown, moving down through eyelashes and lips and ending up wherever her hands happened to be. Rather than literally painting gloves I opted for asymmetrical geometric designs, keeping in the style of the face, and topped of with black and red nail polish .
And to think I that once upon a time I thought people were being ridiculous and over analytical when they droned on about the imbued significance of minor details in art works..... These days I know better: it's those little details that are all the fun! :)