We started out with an idea of something ugly that turns into something beautiful and the concept of nurturing.
For this concept, I suggested using a silhouette of a woman blowing a kiss and have colorful stuff coming out of the mouth of the figure. We like this particular image and decided to use it as the negative space where the model’s skin is exposed to symbolize vulnerability.
In the model’s own words:
My body painting reflects the caregiver piece to my identity that makes up such a huge piece of who I am. I come from a family of high achieving men and women; education and hierarchy make up a large portion of what is deemed respectable. But when I grew up and it came time to decide what path was calling me home, it wasn’t that of medicine, law, or big business. Instead I found my heart wanting nothing more than to be a mother and wife: a caregiver. So I had Mother Earth painted on my skin to portray this: the ultimate caregiver throughout the cycle of life.
The colors Danny and I decided on including are also significant to me in expressing Mother Earth’s omnipotence. She controls both extremes of the life cycle: life and death. The bottom of my painting uses dark, cold colors to depict decay and death-the end of the life cycle. But it is through this ugly base of rotting skulls and dirt that the greenery is given life. As the painting works its way up, the colors move into a warmer theme and instead of skulls and dirt, yellows and greens and blues are used to depict sunshine, butterflies, and spiraling vines-all representing life. And, of course, the painting wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful or personalized if Danny hadn’t made the genius decision to use my own skin as negative space to include the profile of Mother Earth herself setting the cycle of life in motion.
Why Body Painting?
Using body painting as a medium to express this desire and discovery of myself makes it much more personal. I am uncloaked. I am revealing this piece of myself for the world to see. But at the same time, it is the only thing cloaking my nakedness. Declaring this through body painting made it an honest and humble expression about who I am.
Model: Dahlia Grace