Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Isis and Irina

I am way overdue to write a blog update; Open Mind Eco Festival came and went, as did the body art competition I started. I will write a proper article about that later. However, I will say that I met Irina Mikhailova, when I body painted her for her performance with the festival's headlining act, Kaya Project.
Photography by Toronto Ottawa Body Painting

Recently I have had the exquisite opportunity to collaborate with Irina Mikhailova on two photoshoots. Both shoots were with Andrei Kalamkarov. One of my close friends, Jamie, who runs Advika Clothing out of her loft, generiously donated the use of her space for the photoshoot. Hair is by Vincent Diplacido.

The first shoot, from start to finish, took a total of 7 hours; we finished at around 1:30am. Body painting, plus make-up was done in 4 hours with the help of Zraëli Karus and Ziggy. I tease the boys by saying they are "painting by numbers". Ziggy is a computer programmer by trade and I have to create an outline, blocking in what he needs to paint. Later on I may go over some of his work with some highlights or shadows, adding depth, or perhaps micas or glitters to the layer of paint.

 The theme for this shoot was Ancient Egypt.
 In the past, I have done extensive research into ancient Egypt. For this body painting I referenced paintings from tombs, temples and palaces. We didn't have enough time to be as authentic as I had originally wished to be, so I sped up the process by taking an artistic and imaginative twist.

Originally my referneces included Asia.

The Falcon in Ancient Egypt is sacred and related to the god Horus. The left eye of Horus is Osiris, and the Right eye of Horus is Ra, the moon and the sun.  (if I remember correctly, sometimes I mix up my right and my left). Depending on which period of Egypt one is referencing, Isis gave birth to Horus, who is the galaxies & universe.

Irina's "dress" (as you can see more like skin tight pants), is based on a particular image of Isis in a dress from the side view, as depicted in the painting, the dress appears as if they are leggings (see collage above where Isis has wings). I have painted a falcon on her back, surrounded by a cartouche. The feathers I have painted on her neck and face are falcon feathers. The design above her right eye brow is intended to be a "scrap" of ancient Egyptian lace based loosely off Egyptian Coptic netting lace design, produced in 500BC (I never had time to finished painting the lace).

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