Tu­tor’s last blast at body art awards

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Armed with cos­met­ics as his paint and a naked body as his can­vas, Phillip Heke­toa is plan­ning his at­tack for the coun­try’s big­gest body art event one last time.

The Grey Lynn makeup artist and hair­dresser has en­tered the New Zealand Body Art Awards ev­ery year since its in­cep­tion in 2006 and will make his fi­nal bid for body-paint­ing glory at the event on Satur­day.

The theme for this year’s awards is Fan­ta­sia Asia and Phillip will be en­ter­ing two items in the mas­quer­ade cat­e­gory, which he won the first year he en­tered.

As a tu­tor at the Cut Above Academy, a school for hair­dress­ing and make-up artistry, Phillip says his en­tries al­ways have a fo­cus on the fash­ion­able rather than the freaky.

“As a tu­tor I’m more fash­ion ori­ented,” he says.

But he says whether it’s gory spe­cial ef­fects or taste­ful make-up, the chal­lenge is the same.

“You’re still mak­ing some­thing look at­trac­tive.

“I’ve al­ways liked things pretty for some rea­son.”

He says his en­tries this year will be ex­per­i­ment­ing with some of the darker el­e­ments of the Fan­ta­sia Asia theme.

“I’ll be tak­ing the ninja and samu­rai side of things,” he says.

Phillip has come a long way since his first time in the com­pe­ti­tion when he had no ex­pe­ri­ence at all.

“I didn’t even know how to work a paint­brush.”

Now af­ter three years of con­sis­tently gain­ing places at the awards, he says his per­sonal chal­lenge has come to an end.

“I feel like I’ve gained what I wanted to.”

He says the awards are a great way for peo­ple in the in­dus­try to get to­gether and com­pete.

“I’m glad they’re around be­cause there are peo­ple out there who don’t nec­es­sar­ily know how to di­rect their cre­ativ­ity.”

He has spent the weeks lead­ing up to the awards mak­ing sure he’s pre­pared, de­cid­ing on mod­els and dou­ble check­ing all his equip­ment.

But when the day rolls round he says there’s more ex­cite­ment than nerves.

The New Zealand Body Art Awards are on Satur­day at the Bruce Ma­son Cen­tre, Taka­puna. For in­for­ma­tion see www.bod­yart awards.co.nz. Tick­ets are avail­able from Tick­et­mas­ter.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Artis­tic ar­tillery: Phillip Heke­toa will en­ter the Body Art Awards for the last time this year.

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