There was no shortage of fantastical creatures on show at last night's New Zealand Body Art Awards.

From man-eating monsters to nymph-like dancers, the stage of Takapuna's Bruce Mason Theatre became - for short while - a place where dreams and nightmares alike came alive.

This year's theme was Incredible India and many of the eight categories required artists to create something inspired by the vast sub-continent.

Now in their fifth year, the awards are open to up-and-coming artists and established industry professionals, making it not only a competition but also a vital networking tool.

Among the winning artworks depicting aspects of India were Magdalena O'Connor's cow-like creature and Yolanda Bartram's fluorescent-painted model, who fitted herself against a piece of painted cardboard after walking the runway to reveal a secondary design.

The supreme award went to Erin Harrison, whose elaborately constructed turtle also won the Special FX Creature category.

Winner of Body - Painted Novice Carol Lee
Winner of Hand-painted - Professional artist Myrtha Heydenrijk
Winner of Special Effects Fantasy Nicole Heydenrijk
Winner of World Ethnic Tribal Karen Havicam
Winner of Special FX Creatures Erin Harrison
Winner of Masquerade Magdalena O'Connor
Winner of Illumination Yolanda Bartram
Winner of Maori Myths Hayley Marlow
Youth Award (artist under 21) Sarah MacClure
Best Model Hayley Marlow
Audience Choice Julian Bartram