MEDIA RELEASE 01 August 2016
Cairns support worker makes long trip to care for her mouth painting dad at Brisbane's EKKA
Amber Rigg of Cairns will make a make a flight of more than 3,500 kilometres to
care for her dad when he competes and demonstrates at the EKKA to be held in
Brisbane from 5 to 14 August.
Her dad is famous mouth painter Simon Rigg of Warrnambool, Victoria who has been
a quadriplegic since 1982 when he fell ten feet to the ground while he was
repairing the roof of the shed at the back of his property.
He will join nine other artists from Australia and New Zealand, who are members
of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists and will demonstrate their amazing skills
to the visiting public over the ten day period and have also entered paintings
into different competition categories.
Simon will be accompanied by his daughter Amber, who lives in Cairns where she
is a carer for people with a disability and the aged and will make the trip to
Melbourne to accompany her father to Brisbane.
Amber was only two when her father had his accident and in adulthood decided
that her vocation should be devoted to helping those who are unable to do
everything for themselves.
Amber says that her background has uniquely prepared her for the role of a carer
as she that she has a different attitude to the job to most people.
As well as being a very fine artist Simon, has beautiful cursive writing and
holds the pen in his mouth. This year he has written a message in an open letter
included in the samples of the mid-year range from the Mouth and Foot Painting
Artists which are being mailed throughout Australia.
Simon learned to write by holding the pen in his mouth while he was a patient in
the Austin Hospital and has been widely praised for his excellent writing which
is better than most people achieve by holding the pen in their hand.
Simon says that he met MFPA member Bill Mooney at the Austin Hospital who
encouraged him to try mouth painting, but he first tried writing with a pen held
in his mouth and after a lot of practice was able to achieve a good result.
"Today I am told that cursive writing is a dying art, but I am very proud of my
writing and today I really enjoy the calligraphy part and aim to get my writing
as neat and even as possible and I get the best result by using a technical
"It can take me several days and a number of tries to achieve the letter writing
result I am looking for. I used to get annoyed and frustrated, particularly
after concentrating on the lettering only to realise I had left out a word and
had to start again".
"When people look at cursive writing they say they have a good hand, so in my
case do they say I have a good mouth?", Simon quipped.
Simon's letter introduces the MFPA range of products which this year will be
available at the EKKA and includes greeting cards, gift wrapping paper,
notepads, placemats, coasters and serviettes, children's books and puzzles. One
1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle is beautifully packaged in a tin box illustrated with
a striking painting of 'The Alps' by MFPA founder Eric Stegmann.
Simon says that all the items are reproduced from original works of art painted
by members of the group by mouth or foot as they have lost the use of their
To become a student member an artist must qualify by painting using a brush held
in either their mouth or foot, having lost the use of their hands through an
illness or accident. Student members receive scholarships for art supplies and
tuition. Once an artist becomes a full member they are guaranteed a salary for
life, even if they are unable to continue painting.
For further information on the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists or to purchase
their products including the cards and bridge score card, contact MFPA on (02)
9698 3933 or visit www.mfpa.com.au.
Released for MFPA by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on 0411 510 888.