At one with nature: Artist poses naked people in scenic landscapes and camouflages them with intricate body paint to ‘merge’ each of them with their stunning surroundings
- Orly Faya, who describes herself as a travelling artist and healer, goes around the world painting people
- Her pictures feature naked figures painted like a canvas to blend them into their surroundings
- Describing her work, Orly, who is currently based in Australia and will soon journey to Peru, said she travels the world painting people ‘into the earth’
- Her pictures include a kissing couple blended into trees, a man and woman painted into the ocean and a pregnant woman clasping her bump
Orly Faya, 31, who describes herself as a travelling artist and healer, said nature is her ‘studio’ into which she takes her subjects outdoors among backdrops and covers them in body paint.
Orly, who was born in Australia, where she is currently based, but has been traveling since she was 18 and is soon going to Peru, has been traveling the world for years working on her art and more recently doing ‘mergings’.
A collection of extraordinary pictures of her work include a kissing couple blending into the trees behind them, a man and woman on a boat painted into the ocean and a man decorated to match the grassland, mountain and sky behind him.
Other pictures show a man and woman melted into foliage, a woman with her arms outstretched in front of the sea and a woman with her hands in prayer position in front of a purple-flowering tree.
Another shows a figure standing naked in woodland or rain forest, his body painted to blend with the trees and roots, while one features a pregnant woman clasping her bump.
She has been travelling ‘continuously’ for 14 years and painted in seven countries. She told Daily Mail Online: ‘I have been moving around the world continuously for 14 years – Australia is one of my bases but I never tend to stay here very long. I was born here and began travelling at 18.
‘I have painted in seven countries at present and have a Europe tour being planned for 2017, I have invitations for Brazil, Zambia, United States and New Zealand and intend to make it everywhere at some point.’
She said: ‘I realized that people essentially wanted to be painted in the nature and have artworks of themselves on their walls – so the experience transformed into a service and product.
””Mergings” became available for those who commissioned the process, for both personal and professional outcomes.’
She added: ‘Today, people get painted into the earth to celebrate their bodies, to celebrate weddings and anniversaries, to celebrate their time spent in a particular location or their homes, to heal illness and disease and to celebrate new health after surviving terminal conditions and to simply enjoy the experience under the brush.
‘There are many reasons why people want to connect with nature, with their fundamental human origins and I appreciate that the value of this process is far more than final artworks – rather is is about healing through vulnerability trust magic and beauty.’
She is also working on a community project, Merging with the Earth: First People, for which she has painted four people from four different indigenous groups – including a Darug couple in the Blue Mountains, Australia.
She said she first got into body painting after a friend had it done in 2011 and Orly was encouraged to try it out herself.
Since then she has found the ‘intimate’ process of painting other people’s naked bodies leads to a ‘deep’ connection.
‘It’s pure joy from the beginning, it’s such an intimate thing, to paint somebody’s body, and so the connection goes very deep,’ she said in Disappearing Into Nature, a video about her work.
‘We do talk and things come out, so the actual process itself can be very healing. We’re also physically connecting with the earth under our feet, as well as with the sun, with the wind and whatever else the weather has for us that day.’
She said the next step is ‘a mapping of the body into the land like a puzzle piece’ during which the model has to remain completely still.
The process, she said, is ‘quite strenuous’ for both artist and model because they are open to the elements. She said sometimes models even start ‘feeling faint’.
If it is a morning work, they start at about 4am so that she is ready to take the photo by 8am.
Explaining the project, she said she does it ‘to highlight our innate connection to the land’ and she said body painting enables her to ‘accept every inch of human flesh as perfect’.
‘Body painting welcomes me into the realms of vulnerability and trust which teaches me about respect, energy and healing,’ she wrote on Bored Panda.