Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Body Beautiful With Mandy Kierans

Having always been interested in make-up and its application to transform the human face or body, Mandy Kierans studied special effects and make up for TV and Film, in Dublin. This led to a position as assistant make-up artist for a production company, Paradox Pictures in England and her love of decorating the human body.

As her reputation grew, by word of mouth, she was often sort after in her field. Giving workshops to under privileged children, as well as doing the make-up and hair for television programmes, short and feature length films and children’s TV programmes. She did the special effects make-up for the crowd scenes in the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, directed by Steven Spielberg, as well as the make-up for the crowd scenes in the film ‘All for Love’, starring Richard E. Grant and Miranda Richardson. A lucrative four-year contract with Schwarzkopf hair products meant that she created the make-up design for all the Schwarzkopf events (fashion shows, TV adverts and magazine spreads) held in Ireland and England during this period.

Her inspiration comes mainly from the ethereal world of angels and fairies coupled with the elements of earth, wind and fire. She likes to convey beauty in her work and colours are always bright. So much so that when she was learning how to reproduce, wounds, scars and bruises at college, her teacher found it strange that even in the most gruesome wound, she had incorporated glitters! For private commissions, when’ decorating’, a person for a party, the inspiration for her design comes not only from her interaction with that person but in finding out what their favourite colour, drink, or time of the year is. In such a way she comes upon a design that is unique to that person.

As well as make-up Mandy uses other materials to enhance her creations such as papier-mâché, foam latex, and hair by a process known as ‘knotting’, where the hair is painstakingly attached to gauze with a crochet-like hook implement, hair by hair. One creation, a body painting of a swan incorporated flowers and animatronics wings that threw confetti and glitters into the air every time they moved.

Mandy Kierans was born and bred in Droghead, Ireland but moved to Groningen in 2002 to live with her Dutch boyfriend Arn, who she met whilst on holiday on the island of Crete. Since moving permanently to Groningen she has taken part in various events, workshops and festivals, where her body painting skills have been enthusiastically received.

For the future, however, Mandy would like to go into party planning, arranging everything from A – Z for anyone wanting to give a fabulous party. She would manage and market the event as well as organize the catering and entertainment. Even down to the smaller details such as hair and makeup for guest or entertainer.

For more information you Mandy can be reached here

© Alison Day
First published in the 
Connections magazine #13 Autumn 2006
Read & download issue here

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