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People will be turning into insects at Paignton Zoo this weekend.

Students from South Devon College are helping to launch the Zoo’s Insect Week by parading their extraordinary design and make-up skills.

The students are all studying the Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up, where they are developing a range of skills for employment in the make-up or beauty industry. The work they have produced for this event forms part of an applied face and body art module.

Six models, each with their own hair and make-up artists, will transform into beautiful and outlandish designs inspired by invertebrates. Investigate, Paignton Zoo’s hi-tech new invertebrate exhibit, opens on Wednesday 28th May at 1.00pm.

Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “This is going to be an incredible visual feast! Hair, make-up, costumes and body painting will combine to create characters that look as though they have just stepped out of a sci-fi film. Their metamorphoses will take up to 4 hours depending on the design.”

Lu Christie, lecturer in Make-up Artistry at the College, who inspired the project, said: “It has taken the students months to research and develop their designs in teams. They visited Paignton Zoo and discussed their ideas. The designs include moths, caterpillars, two types of mantis, butterflies and damsel flies. There are some incredibly visual designs - the damsel fly has chiffon wings, whilst the caterpillar costume features a duvet covered in silk.”

Half term week at Paignton Zoo has been dubbed Insect Week, with an assortment of insect-related activities including encounters with visiting invert experts, an edible bugs challenge, pond-dipping and insect graffiti art. The official opening of Investigate is on Wednesday 28th May at 1.00pm.

The models will be on display to the public at the Zoo between about 1.00 and 3.00 on the afternoons of Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May. Investigate, Paignton Zoo’s hi-tech new invertebrate exhibit, opens on Wednesday 28th May at 1.00pm.

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