MAGICAL: Heidi Holland after being painted by Elfie Jade and Marco Selva of Creatrix Bodyart.
MAGICAL: Heidi Holland after being painted by Elfie Jade and Marco Selva of Creatrix Bodyart. Marc Stapelberg

The art of body painting

BODY painting is an art that invokes the deepest spiritual, ritualistic and tribal essence of humanity, and despite living in a modern age it is still very much alive.

Creatrix Bodyart is based on the north coast and is a regular festival attraction at Splendour in the Grass, as well as other festivals including Earth Frequency, Rainbow Serpent and Earthcore.

Elfie Jade, owner and team leader of the artist collaboration, works with her partner Marco Selva and her artist friends Dominique, Heidi and Aleisha.

She believes people and especially women feel empowered and emboldened once painted.

Elfie Jade paints a model with Dominique Abraham at Earthfrequency 2017. Photo Marco Selva
Elfie Jade (left) paints a model with Dominique Abraham (right) at Earth Frequency 2017. Contributed

"We see the human form as the ultimate canvas, each person being unique and dynamic,” Ms Jade said.

"Body art for us is a celebration of beauty.

"It feels like painting a mask which allows people to take their mask off.

"As people identify with the character they embody, it encourages them to explore and express themselves in an uninhibited way.”

Drawing on her experience as a make-up artist, body painter and graphic designer, Ms Jade has been honing her artistic process for seven years, primarily within the "festival world” and "corporate event space” across Australia.

"I had the honour to get body-painted by the national body art champion Emily Ades,” she said.

"We became good friends and she was my first teacher on my wonderful journey as a body artist.”

Ms Jade said impermanence, time restrictions and weather conditions could make the creation of body art challenging but at the same time rewarding.

"One art piece we did which drew international recognition was at this year's Sydney Mardi Gras.

"We painted a GP and a nurse for the Lesbian Nurse Float.

"The models drew a lot of attention from visitors, photographers and journalists worldwide.”

Ms Jade said the group loved contributing to the magic and high vibration at festivals through their creations.

"Festivals provide a playground of uninhibited self-expression,” she said.

"It allows dress-ups, encourages playfulness, character play and transformation, where we fit in just perfectly.”

Creatrix Bodyart uses a non-toxic paint the artists produce themselves from mineral powders and body paint liquid.

They then use airbrushes, stencils and compressors to help create intricate works that range from galactic designs and animal-inspired patterns such as serpent skin to more ethereal gradings of colours and sacred geometric designs.

Ms Jade said customers try body art for many reasons but many find they are encouraged to open up, embrace and celebrate their body as a piece of art.

She said the group would ultimately love to paint magical creatures on big movie productions like Avatar or Lord of the Rings as a longer-term output for their passion.