Masterpieces painted on skin at Sprowston Manor
Some of the world's best practitioners of one of humanity's earliest art forms have gathered in Norfolk to create a series of spectacular living masterpieces.
The annual Paintopia Festival, which showed the world of body painting at Sprowston Manor this weekend, was the biggest yet – having grown from 18 artists four years ago to 200.
With a theme of the art of music, artists from as far as Italy, the Netherlands and America decorated models as they showed off their skills, and took part in a series of competitions.
Body paint model Gracie Williams, from Mattishall, near Dereham, said she was honoured to be painted with an Iron Maiden-inspired composition by Italian Matteo Arfanotti, who was named world champion in face and body in 2013.
The 25-year-old is familiar with the scene thanks to her parents, who are face painters, and this is her third year as a model.
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She stood for six hours while the artist painted her skin, and said: 'To become something completely different is amazing. That's why I do it. I like the outcome of the painting.'
The art-form has proved to be a life-changer for one couple from Bristol, who first met while modelling at an event in Wales, and got engaged at Paintopia.
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Will Shave went down on one knee and asked Claire Hindle to marry him in front of the audience.
The event's special professor's apprentice competition saw Mick Richardson, from Norfolk, work with Angela Youngs, a creative artist from Kent, to decorate model Daniel Kerry in a tribute to Native Americans.
Ms Youngs said: 'I did a lot of research on the history of the Native Americans. I wanted to treat it with respect and care. We decided to re-create all the colours they used. We also decided to paint using traditional methods, using hands and feathers.'
Cat Finlayson, the official event artist said: 'Events like this are pushing body art as an art form. It's not sleazy. We do not paint nude. People are getting to see it more.'
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