Kerrin Tilley

I was born and raised in Opotiki and have two older brothers and a younger brother and sister.  I was educated in Opotiki and left school after my fifth form year.  I spent three years dairy farming and completed a farm cadetship and gained a trade certificate in farming.  After this I went into the bush and trapped possums for ten months, I was then lucky enough to get a job through my brother with the Department of Conservation. This entailed culling goats in the Raukumara Ranges out the back of Opotiki. This was a wonderful job and I saw some great sights, with many memorable moments.  This job lasted for about a year until Government cut backs left me without a job. From there I got employment in forestry, planting and thinning pine trees.

Unfortunately all of this came to an abrupt end when at the age of 21 I injured my neck while playing rugby for the Opotiki colts in 1988.  While rehabilitating at the Otara Spinal unit I met four mouth painters who gave me encouragement to have a go at painting. 

In 1992 I was accepted into the Mouth and Foot Painters Association, I became an Associate member in 2005. My main subjects are sceneries, wild life and flowers.

My hobbies are rugby, painting, and fishing which I can still participate in, with the adaptation of an electric fishing reel, I also enjoy the odd game of Crib, Euchre or Backgammon on the computer.  I belong to the Opotiki Art Society, which is a group of people with talent in various arts and crafts.  We get together once a week to participate in our forms of art, and hold regular exhibitions in Opotiki.  I have also exhibited in national and international exhibitions though the AMFPA.