ART helps keeps Warrnambool mouth-painting artist Simon Rigg sane.
Mr Rigg won a highly commended award for one of his works at the Rural Queensland Show in Brisbane.
In 1982, Mr Rigg fell from a roof three metres above the ground while repairing a shed roof on his own property.
The fall left him a quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair.
Mr Rigg said he found fulfilment through his art and art associations.
“It’s important for my sanity,” he said.
“I think without it I’d be going round the bend.
“The more I paint, the better I become. I guess it’s like that with everything in life. Persistence is the key to success.”
Mr Rigg has been an active student artist of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) since 1989.
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 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.
His painting Manly Beach Girl was recognised at the Rural Queensland Show in Brisbane and has been demonstrating his painting technique.
“I guess the award recognises the effort you make,” he said.
“I’ve been painting here for six days and the feedback has been really good. People are rather amazed.”
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