Phoenix: A Celebration of Creative Wellbeing exhibition

Phoenix: A celebration of creative wellbeing is an exhibition showcasing work by artists from Ōtautahi Creative Spaces' Room 5. It is on display in the Exhibition Space on Hapori | Level 1 in Tūranga until Sunday 11 August. The exhibition’s theme of transformation is expressed through the mythical story of the firebird Phoenix, which arose from the ashes and symbolizes regeneration, strength and renewal.  

Phoenix is accompanied by art workshops, book display, and a Creative Health Expo:

Phoenix: Intaglio Printmaking workshop Sunday 14 July 10.30am to 1pm, Sunday 21 July 10.30am to 1pm, Sunday 21 July 2pm to 4.30pm
Suitable for 13+ years, bookings required, phone 9417923

Artist Bridget Allen will be leading participants through the stages of dry-point Intaglio printing – a technique which was first developed in the 15th century - using ink, perspex and photos. We'll be creating prints that are A6 size ( 10 x 15cm). Bring a printed photo or image (not an image on a phone) or choose one from the images we provide. Create beautiful prints to take home, and if you choose, or have your work displayed at Tūranga alongside the exhibition Phoenix: A celebration of Creative Wellbeing.

Phoenix: Creative Health Expo Saturday 10 August 1pm to 4.30pm

Join Ōtautahi Creative Spaces and local organisations to celebrate positive wellbeing and learn more about mental health services available in our region.
Tautoru / TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Tūranga.

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Photos from the exhibition opening

Photos of the Phoenix Exhibition

View our photos from the installation and show:

Phoenix Exhibition

Ōtautahi Creative Spaces and the Phoenix Exhibition

Ōtautahi Creative Spaces was set up in response to the mental distress in the community after the earthquakes and ran free programmes in New Brighton, Aranui, and Central Library Peterborough. Based out of Studio Room 5 at the Phillipstown Community Hub, they have 65 artists with experience of mental distress pursuing their aspirations, through studio groups, artist mentoring, collaborative projects. The kaupapa of transforming lives through creative pathways is making a profound impact on artist's wellbeing. By identifying artistic strengths, mental wellbeing is enhanced and artists have the strength to change other areas of their lives.

Room 5 artist Rebecca Yianakis says:

“I love what the Phoenix represents for me. What I go through is cyclical, and the Phoenix goes through a cycle. I feel like with each cycle I become a stronger person, almost re-born in a way – just like the Phoenix ...”

Kim Morton, director of Ōtautahi Creative Spaces, urges people to get behind the new arts strategy for Christchurch Toi Ōtautahi:

“We urge people to get behind Toi Ōtautahi because the wellbeing needs here are enormous and the mental health system is struggling to cope. Art and creativity have a hugely positive role to play in the wellbeing of our communities but what it will take is a coordinated approach – not just the arts community driving this, but health and social development as well. Phoenix will assert the place of Christchurch Ōtautahi as a leading player in the arts and health movement in Aotearoa New Zealand, with our community experiencing extreme mental distress following the earthquakes and the recent terrorist attack on the Muslim community. It will be both a celebration of diverse creative well-being initiatives in our city, and will provoke kōrero on how can the arts contribute to the well-being of the people of Ōtautahi in the future.

“The purpose of the Christchurch City Libraries is to connect people, inspire discovery and enrich communities” says Chris Hay, Manager of Tūranga:

“Phoenix will be a meaningful exhibition for the city. We’re enjoying the partnership with Ōtautahi Creative Spaces and we’re looking forward to seeing our public spaces and library resources utilised to help broaden the important discussion about health and wellbeing in Christchurch.”

More about the artworks on show

View the Phoenix exhibition catalogue [PDF]

If you have visited the exhibition, and want to purchase an artwork, please contact Ōtautahi Creative Spaces on 022 064 7963 or Please give them the following details:
Work being purchased: Title of work; Artist
Purchaser’s details: Name; Phone number; Email
Payment: Please deposit the purchase price into: Ōtautahi Creative Spaces Trust – SBS Bank 03 1355 0831772 00

A receipt will be provided to your email address. Work will be available for collection at the end of the exhibition (from Monday 12 August), from studio Room 5,  Phillipstown Community Hub, 39 Nursery Rd, Phillipstown. Phone number to check pick up times: 022 379 1521

Creative wellbeing

If you are worried have anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, reading a book about these issues can really help. The Reading in Mind Book Scheme for mental health and wellbeing highlights books, eBooks, DVDs and CDs around wellbeing and mental health. Books on the Reading In Mind booklist have been recommended by mental health professionals and the scheme was developed by Pegasus Health, Christchurch City Libraries and The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC).

Reading in Mind Book Scheme for mental health and wellbeing, opens a new window

You can select books from the website or you can ask a librarian to help you select a book from the library webpage on Reading in Mind. MHERC can post books out to you and will include a pre-paid post bag for returning books.

For more health related resources investigate Information on Health and Wellness Resource Centre with your library card and password/PIN.

Why not take time to explore your artistic potential find out about outsider art, mindfulness and art therapy, explore your creativity through Zen Tangle Doodling try collage, journal art, or learn to draw.