Kerrin Tilley was born on 19 May 1967 in Opotiki. In 1988 he was so seriously injured in a crush while attending a rugby match that he became tetraplegic (C1/C5). In the unit for spinal injuries at the Otara hospital in Auckland, he met the mouth painters and VDMFK artists Grant Sharman, Irene Bernie, Tommy Waru and Alex Craig as well as the wonderful art tutor Doreen Jones. All these people motivated him to become involved in mouth painting. Kerrin Tilley's favourite subjects are landscapes and animals.