Joanne's show-stopping flower power

By Mark HeathIT is usually the cornucopia of beautiful blooms that turn heads at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show – but not this year, for a day at least.

By Mark Heath

IT is usually the cornucopia of beautiful blooms that turn heads at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show - but not this year, for a day at least.

For when the great and the good gathered for the show's press day last week, it was Ipswich woman Jo Armes who was the undoubted centre of attention.

And with good reason - for the 22-year-old was covered from head to toe in body paint and dressed in nothing more than a pair of knickers.


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Miss Armes was at the show to help publicise the launch of a new Royal Parks rose and it certainly worked - as pictures of her were beamed around the world.

"A friend of mine, Carolyn Roper, is a make-up artist and body painter and I've done a few things for her before, like portfolio work," she explained.

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"She phoned me up last week saying that the Royal Parks had got hold of her via her website and they wanted someone to be painted to publicise the launch of the new rose."

The pair were given a penthouse apartment in Chelsea in which to prepare the floral design, which took almost five hours to paint on.

Then it was off to the show, where Miss Armes had her picture taken with celebrities including athlete Kriss Akabusi, actress Britt Ekland and television gardener Diarmuid Gavin.

"I'd never done anything like it before. When you're painted, you don't feel naked - it's hard to describe," said Miss Armes.

"The older generation were saying 'You're so brave' to me - I must have heard that about 50 times. I didn't feel self-conscious at all though. There's nothing you can do about it, so you might as well make the best of it. It turned into a major event."

Miss Armes, who works in accounts at DHL Freight, added: "It was a good day and I enjoyed myself. It's quite an experience - not many people can say they've done something like that."

Miss Roper, who is based in London, said she had created the body paint design in just a week and had been pleased with the results.

"It was great. We got a lot of stares and had a lot of pictures taken. It's always nice that people like your design," she added.

For more information about Miss Roper's body painting and make-up artistry, log on to www.getmadeup.com.

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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