Baring it all for art at New Zealand Cup and Show Week

With the stand out week of Christchurch’s spring calendar drawing closer, artists, models, free spirits and nude enthusiasts are preparing to bare all in the name of art.

New Zealand Cup and Show Week is home to many standout events, including The Hits Body Art competition on Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day. Winners of this year’s event will receive a prize pack worth over $3,000.

Experienced body artist Angela Pethig says the event is an opportunity for body artists to showcase their stand out designs, so expect some wild and beautiful visions from this years’ participants.

When it comes to creating that winning design, Pethig says it’s all about the artistic flair and attention to detail – and she should know, her 2016 creation, Miss Canterbury, wowed judges with its intricately detailed design featuring iconic Canterbury places and scenery, earning her first place in the ZM Body Art competition.

“A winning body paint has to work from head to toe and be well applied with tidy line work,” Pethig says. “Colour choices are key to making your artwork aesthetically pleasing, as is having an interesting theme that ties all of your designs together.”

While it’s her fourth year competing in the stand out competition, Pethig says she’s keeping her design under wraps until it’s time to bare all. “I don’t tend to tell people about my designs as often they are still evolving in my head and I like what I create to be a surprise,” she says. She’s loving the big, bold, colourful prints and soft flowing fabrics that are on trend for this season, so you might see some of that reflected in her artwork.

Pethig, an artist and Head Tutor at Design & Arts College, says months of preparation can go into preparing for the big day. “Once I come up with a design idea, I draw it out on paper and I sometimes practice to see if my concept will work,” she says. But it’s hard to put a timeframe on true artistic inspiration, as Pethig says; “I do find some of my best ideas come into my head in the days before the competition.”

She’s one of the earliest risers on NZ Cup Day, up before dawn to prepare and start painting her models. Joined by other entrants, mostly past or present students and they turn up the music and zone into their extravagant creations until it’s time to strut their stuff in front of the judges.

Once the show is over, it’s time to help her model remove the fabulous body paint, glue, glitter and any other adornments then go home to catch up on missed sleep, then rejoin the party as Christchurch celebrates the stand out week of its Spring calendar.

“I love the energy and positivity that brings Christchurch alive during cup week,” Pethig says.