Public Relations Company

Public Relations Company  
MEDIA RELEASE 10 February 2010

Gold and silver in the bag! Opotiki mouth painter steals the show at exclusive art awards
Opotiki mouth-painting artist Kerrin Tilley has been awarded both first and second prize at the annual Bruce Hopkins Memorial Art Awards.

The Bruce Hopkins Memorial Art Awards started 17 years ago to commemorate Bruce Hopkins' contribution to the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) and to artists with disabilities throughout New Zealand. During the 1970s and 80s, Bruce was the only New Zealand artist with a disability to belong to the MFPA and was responsible for encouraging and inspiring people with disabilities to start painting with a brush held in their mouth or foot.

First place was awarded to Kerrin's acrylic painting 'Surfs Up'. Kerrin also received second place for his oil painting 'Earnslaw'.

"'Earnslaw' was inspired by a photograph taken during a trip to the South Island of New Zealand. 'Surfs Up' depicts a surfer and although I have never surfed myself, I'm always inspired watching a skilful surfer catching a good wave", said Kerrin

Kerrin began painting with a brush held in his mouth in 1988 after suffering a neck injury while playing rugby. He has been a member of the MFPA since 1992 and has placed in the Bruce Hopkins Memorial Awards a few times over the years.

"I just have to put the past behind me and carry on with my life. I find there are things I can't do, however I just have to carry on with what I can. I concentrate on painting because it's something I really enjoy, something that makes me happy", said Kerrin.

Third place was awarded to Manukau mouth-painter, Murray Cohen for his oil painting entitled 'Evening over Auckland'. Hamilton mouth-painter John Loughnan received a highly commended for his work, 'Poppies'.

Founded in 1956 by a group of European artists, the MFPA is a self-help organisation which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to fulfil their creative ambitions while still maintaining financial independence by selectively selling their artworks.

To become a 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.

For further information on the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists or to place an order contact MFPA on (09) 827 6746.

Released for Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Gemma Crowley or Nicola Rutzou on (612) 9413 4244.

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