Bridport farmer's daughter in Austria for World Bodypaint Championships

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: COAT OF MANY COLOURS: Jennie Roberts, left, from Bridport, model Laurence Caird and Cat Finlayson COAT OF MANY COLOURS: Jennie Roberts, left, from Bridport, model Laurence Caird and Cat Finlayson

A Bridport farmer’s daughter swapped ploughing for paintbrushes at the World Bodypaint Championships in Austria.

Jennie Roberts has been competing at the championships along with Cat Finlayson from Norfolk.

The painting pair transformed model Laurence Caird, a Bristol-based scientist by day, into a tongue-in-cheek ‘Modern Social Media Man’ for the competition’s pop art theme.

Jennie and Cat were in the Brush and Sponge category where only underwear, brush and sponge applied paint was allowed.

A total of just 90 artists from over 45 countries were picked to enter the three-day event, which drew thousands of spectators and hundreds of artists at the showcase of international body art.

Cat, Jennie and Laurence were placed 21st in the qualifications stage to go through to Sunday’s final with 36 other rivals.

Jennie said: “We celebrated so loudly that people back in the VIP marquees could hear us.

“It was fabulous, we had no idea we would get through as the standard is incredibly high and the top 15 made our skills seem basic.

“Seeing that sea of lights and faces staring up at Laurence in our creation, I would have cried if I wasn’t so busy grinning.

“It was amazing.”

Born and raised in Bridport, Jennie now lives in Norfolk and is the founder of the Paintopia Face and Body Painting Festival; the largest international bodypainting event in the UK.

She visits Bridport regularly and eventually aims to showcase some of the body art in the town.

Jennie added: “It would be wonderful to be able to incorporate some of our artwork here in my hometown, either as a one-off or as part of an annual event in Bridport. Although Paintopia is based in Norwich I wouldn’t rule out bringing it on tour here.

“Bridport has a lot to offer and host artists from as far afield as America, and its beautiful surroundings would make a wonderful backdrop for the festival.”

Cat and Jennie have been wowing the local paint scene in Norfolk for several years.

They were also recently on ITV and are in talks with a separate documentary team to showcase the inside of the colourful industry.

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