Ahipara artist Kevin Griffiths, who paints by holding a brush in his mouth, will demonstrate his technique at a show set to attract 400,000 people.

Griffiths will take part in the Royal Queensland Show, Ekka, in Brisbane from August 10 to 19. It is Queensland's largest annual event.

Griffiths will demonstrate his technique to the crowds as part of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) demonstration and sale. They will then be able to see the printed card of his painting New Zealand Lake, which is available for worldwide sale as part of the MFPA mid-year range.

New Zealand Lake shows a tranquil setting in late spring with peonies and daisies in the foreground, as well as cabbage trees on the right-hand side, framing the lake. He will also enter the picture in a competition as part of the show.


Griffiths has been mouth painting for 25 years, after he broke his neck and lost the use of his hands in a swimming accident aged 13. Following his accident, he continued his education and became interested in various forms of art, which inspired him to travel extensively throughout the world.

He said that as an artist he assembles the elements to make a picture that is attractive to the viewer, which means he can move things around to improve the overall result.

"I can go over the design and paint over aspects that I don't like, whereas with an actual scene, particularly one that is well known to the public, you really have to accurately paint what you see,'' Griffiths said.

"In the case of this painting, I have built it up from several photographs of different scenes that all contributed to the overall result, which I feel is pleasant to look at, which is why it has been selected to be included in the mid-year card range from MFPA," Kevin said.

Griffiths has been awarded the Bruce Hopkins Memorial Award five times in its 19-year history. The award commemorates Bruce Hopkins' contribution to MFPA and artists with disabilities throughout New Zealand. Since that time he has been awarded the coveted prize four times.

Griffiths became an MFPA student member in 1992 and an associate member in 2001. Members gain their income through the sale of their paintings and products printed with their art, such as Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

Becoming an associate member means being guaranteed an income for life, even if the artist cannot continue painting. All members have lost the use of their hands through an illness or accident and must paint using a brush held in either their mouth or foot.