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Public Relations Company  
 
MEDIA RELEASE 21 April

Christchurch mouth painting artists to exhibit and demonstrate their amazing skills at Westfield Riccarton on 27 April
Christchurch mouth painting artists Grant Philip and Patrick Edmonds will exhibit a selection of their paintings and demonstrate their amazing skill at Westfield Riccarton on 27 April.

Grant will be exhibiting five paintings. These are Tui, Chestnut Champion, Poppies in Bloom, Native New Zealand, am atmospheric bush scene and Wintry Day.

Patrick is displaying three paintings. These are Mud and Blood, ANZAC 100th Celebration, The Somme; Rust in Peace, an old bike in a country garden and a tranquil scene, Peace under the Blue Gums.

Grant is 41 years old and has been confined to a wheelchair for over 20 years. In the summer of 1989, he was an apprentice Sheet Metal Engineer as well as a Territorial Soldier with the Royal New Zealand Corps of Engineers, 1st Field Regiment when he had a diving accident that left him a tetraplegic.

After his accident he retrained as a Computer Aided Designer and held fulltime employment for eight years designing playgrounds for McDonald's Restaurants.

Just over nine years ago a new challenge was presented to him in the way of a scholarship with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. His goal with painting is to become a full member with MFPA and no longer be dependent on compensation.

He started painting in 2012 and became a Student Member of MFPA in 2014.

Grant also runs the Parafed Canterbury Shooting Club and is a Board Member with Parafed Canterbury. He has represented New Zealand in the Sport of Para-Shooting, using specially adapted equipment.

Patrick was a soldier in the New Zealand Army in 1985 when he suffered a broken neck in a diving accident in Taupo rendering him a quadriplegic. He continued serving as a soldier and became a teacher in computer skills.

He moved to Christchurch in 2010 and works voluntarily for the NZ Spinal Trust as a Peer Support Worker and well as playing Powerchair Soccer for Canterbury and is the current of the President of New Zealand Powerchair Football.

He has been painting for 2 years and was made a student member of MFPA in March 2014 and his main aim is to achieve full membership as a professional mouth painter in the near future.

Simon Jackson, MFPA's Asia Pacific Manager says that it is great to see the MFPA painters exhibiting and demonstrating to the general public and show off what they do.

"The usual reaction from people at these shows if one of amazement at their skill that has only been achieved through diligent hard work over the number of years to overcome their disability.

"We are proud of all of the work of our artists and encourage everyone to come along, but they should be prepared to be amazed," Simon said.

The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists gain their income through the sale of products illustrated with their paintings and although this started with Christmas cards, today it includes a wide list of products ranging from special occasion cards, jigsaws, tea sets, address books, calendars, Christmas serviettes and place mats, gift tags and wrapping paper.

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.

The MFPA was established in New Zealand in 1961 and currently has 21 members around the country.

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 or associate they are guaranteed a salary for life, even if they are unable to continue painting.

Released for MFPA by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on +61 411 510 888.

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