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Art with a difference

The Australian Body Art Festival returns to add a bit of colour to Cooroy.
Image by Fran Catford

My Time

Art with a difference

The Australian Body Art Festival returns to add a bit of colour to Cooroy.

Cooroy will be transformed into another world when the Australian Body Art Festival takes over Apex Park.

With every field of the highly anticipated competition filled with the nation’s most talented body artists, the festival on April 6 and 7 will provide a feast for the eyes as meticulously designed concepts are created on human canvases across categories including airbrushing, brush and sponge, special effects, face painting and wearable art.

Among those showcasing their talents is Buderim resident Fran Catford. Ms Catford became a qualified professional stylist and makeup artist in her native Costa Rica before moving to the Sunshine Coast with her husband and three sons a few years ago.

It was while living on the Coast that she began to spend time experimenting with fantasy makeup and pursue her passion for body art and special effects makeup.

“When living in Costa Rica I was so busy I could only follow my intrigue of fantasy makeup very occasionally,” she says.

“I was able to do Halloween makeup for my family for a couple of years and when I moved to Australia, I had some time to find out more about the business side of body artistry.”

“I have always been intrigued by lights and photography and black light body paint became my favourite style.”

After entering an online competition in 2017, Ms Catford was invited to enter the Australian Body Art Awards in Melbourne and although she didn’t win anything in her first attempt, she took home the People’s Choice Award at her first appearance in the Australia Body Art Festival in Cooroy later that year.

Last year, Ms Catford entered the special effects and brush and sponge categories (her 2018 work is pictured left) and has spent months planning her Other Worlds creation to meet this year’s theme in the airbrushing competition.

“The festival is amazing. It’s a great way for you to test yourself and your skills against other artists as well as get your work out there,” she says.

“People are starting to really appreciate body art and seeing it as a legitimate art form and as a result the festival is getting bigger every year. As an artist, it is an opportunity to really express yourself.”

For a full program of events visit


Roxy has been a journalist for more than a decade and joined the MWP team at the end of 2016. She is a chocolate-powered writing machine who loves to engage with the Coast community, uncover untold inspirational stories and share information that can help people.

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