McCahon House Artist in Residence Tiffany Singh has created a social practice artwork addressing wellbeing in relation to the process of grief, death and dying. The artwork titled Calling A Circle: He Karanga Pae by looks at the social psyche around death drawing on theories of positive psychology. Leading researcher in the field of Positive Psychology, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly emphasizes the importance of creativity in stimulating wellbeing, arguing that flow, the creative moment when a person is completely immersed in an activity that is engaging and challenging for its own sake, is a natural anti-depressant.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays individuals were invited to come to the studio to share a quiet and sacred space and to make a string of bells, flowers and other trinkets with messages to loved ones who are no longer with them. At the end of the three months the strings were collected and blessed in a fire puja dawn ceremony at French Bay. Here they were offered into the flames with the ashes collected. A moving image piece accompanies the work reflective of both Colin and Anne McCahon in honour of the site. The ash receptacle will be gifted to the McCahon House Trust along with the moving image as a permanent and protected record of the project.

McCahon House Artists’ Residency, is amongst the most prestigious artists’ residencies in New Zealand. Three residencies a year, each of three months duration, are available to outstanding mid career artists. Artists receiving the residency live and work in the purpose built French Bay house with attached studio.

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