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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 drawing pen.

"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 hands.

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

Released for MFPA by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on 0411 510 888.

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