Memories of Te Kaha inspires Ōpōtiki artist

Staff Reporter

HIS early memories of Te Kaha were the inspiration for Kerrin Tilley’s painting, O’Brien’s Garden, which has been chosen to feature on a Mouth and Foot Paintings Artists greeting card.

“When I was able-bodied my family and I used to regularly go fishing and diving at Te Kaha, so I have many fond memories of the region,” Tilley said.

“This painting depicts the view from the garden owned by the O’Brien family at Te Kaha.

“I visited this magnificent garden when I attended a memorial gathering for my friend, Mary McGregor.

“After my injury, I occasionally stayed with the McGregor family at Te Kaha.

“From there we could go fishing or enjoy a few days away from home.

“Mary McGregor was also a wheelchair user, and our families became close friends, I first met Mary after she was admitted to the Ōpōtiki hospital after her spinal injury. Sadly, Mary passed away a few years later,” he said.

“I enjoy painting flowers, native birds and wildlife, which we have plenty of here, mainly because of their vibrant colours.”

The selection of the pictures for the products for the mid-year range is made by a panel of European experts and is hot competition.

This year the products include paintings by three New Zealand artists.

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 placemats, gift tags and wrapping paper.

The MFPA was established in New Zealand in 1961 and has 25 members around the country.

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