Bathurst makeup artist uses craft to raise awareness of Australia's bushfire crisis

POWERFUL MESSAGE: Makeup artist Kendelle Watts is using her skills and social media accounts to raise awareness about the bushfire crisis.
POWERFUL MESSAGE: Makeup artist Kendelle Watts is using her skills and social media accounts to raise awareness about the bushfire crisis.

A makeup artist from our region wants the world to know that Australia is on fire.

Kendelle Watts will be a familiar name to many in Forbes.

She uses the handle Kenzieloui on social media and is using her growing online platform to spread the word about the bushfire emergency affecting much of Australia, particularly NSW and Victoria.

The 26-year-old created a powerful look using a combination of makeup and body paint to convey the severity to the thousands of followers she has, many of them living outside of Australia.

The artwork depicts scorched trees and the silhouette of kangaroos against a backdrop of intense flames on her chest.

Over her face is a mask, darkened by ash, that reads 'Australia is on fire'.

It took three hours for Ms Watts to paint on herself.

"I did it on Saturday, that really hot day, it was a bit of a struggle," she said.

"... It takes a really long time to do the chest because you're looking down and you're looking in a mirror. I was taking it really slow."

The photo has attracted more than 2000 likes on Instagram since it was posted on January 5.

Ms Watts said that the bushfires burning around the country had her feeling quite emotional and she felt the world needed to know what was going on.

"On my Instagram, I have a lot of followers that are from overseas and I wanted to raise awareness and that's the best way I know how," she said.

In addition to posting the photograph, Ms Watts has included a link in her Instagram bio to information about the various ways people can help and encouraged her followers to make donations.

It has helped to generate more money for the fundraising efforts.

"It's been super overwhelming on Instagram. It's my most engaged with post," she said.

"I've had people from America say they had no idea ... they have since donated [to the appeal]."

Ms Watts said it was "important to keep the conversation going" and hopes to do a series of makeup looks that conveys more of the crisis in Australia.

"I'd like to do at least three, a bit of a series," she said.

"I want to do one of the drought, but I need to figure out what the last one will be."

Ms Watts, who spent most of her life in Forbes before moving to Bathurst, has been doing special effects makeup for around four years, saying she developed the interest when she wanted to do theatre makeup at university.

She is also currently studying graphic design.

Her Instagram account began to be populated with examples of her work in 2015.

More recently, she has turned herself into characters such as Spyro the dragon, the Joker and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.

People who would like to see Ms Watts' work can find her on Instagram or check out her Facebook page, which is called Kenzieloui SFX.