After finishing seventh form at high school, I shifted to Hamilton and started attending Polytech training in Electronics. I had just been accepted for the Navy enrolment, when I was involved in a motorcycle accident and as a result I was paralysed from the neck down at the level of C4/5.
I was only 19 and enjoying life but spent the next six months in the Auckland Spinal Unit, the first couple of years took a lot of adjusting to my new situation. Since leaving the Unit I continue to live in Hamilton with the help of my friends and family.
I started drawing as a hobby and then tried a couple of paintings. Once people saw my work, a friend suggested that I approach the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association. Shortly after I was introduced to a local artist who was already a current member of the Association and with his help, I applied to the Association for a scholarship. After submitting my work and a profile, I was fortunate enough to be accepted as a Student Artist.
I am now 45 years old and find painting very rewarding and satisfying and the MFPA has been excellent. Although struggling with pressure sores constantly for the last 10 years, (as a result of an incorrect cushioning system), lately this has become quite a significant problem cutting down my painting hours significantly. I still enjoy painting when I am able.
The Association is an amazing organization and an opportunity to work with many inspirational artists. I am currently a Student member of the MFPA and have been a student since 2010. My biggest source of inspiration and support has come from my Mother to whom I owe so much, as well as family and helpers who make living with a spinal injury possible and fulfilling.