Colin McCahon's art and kauri from LEARNZ on Vimeo.

Step inside Colin McCahon’s Titirangi house and see how kauri influenced much of his art at that time.

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Excerpts from some of the Audio Visual elements within the McCahon House Museum


Lois McIvor

Living in Titirangi was a very, sort of pervasive environment, it really, for all of us, sort of took over our lives you know, and the kauri trees which he just adored, were very much a part of living down there. But it was a very beautiful place, I saw these trees as a part of my life, a link between heaven and earth.


Victoria Carr
(Colin McCahon's daughter)

I can remember looking at something like when he was first drawing a kauri tree and thinking “oh, of course it looks like that” and then off I went and did my own ones. So things like that, which were sort of like “oh, yes”, so it was more taking things for granted. We used to use anything, like the Weetbix packet, the Kornie’s packet, the brown paper from the butcher, the white news print, things that used to come round, parcels from the city which ad string and brown paper, because that’s how they used to do it. George Courts parcels tied up with string, do you remember that? All that sort of stuff was treasure to us and we used to paint and draw all over it, cut it up and make things.

Alexis Hunter
In their home, they had lots of visiting artists, we heard them talking about art , Victoria’s mother would participate in conversations about art and I seem to have absorbed and learned a lot about art from her parents, more than I did from my own father, who was an artist and I would go out painting with him sometimes, but the conversation in the McCahon house revolved around issues pertaining to art and contemporary ideas and contemporary music. I think I learnt a lot from them, I don’t remember precisely, but I’m sure Anne had a hand in that, encouraging us make things.


Peter Webb 

(started one of the first dealer galleries opening with Colin McCahon’s first Auckland exhibition, paintings of French Bay)

Often I sat with him while he painted. On the evenings when I went home with him,  have dinner with the family, although I think the family had probably gone to bed and I think it was  only Anne and Colin as I recall.  And then, he’d go and start painting on the floor of this minute little .. you’ve seen the room in French Bay? [so he painted on the floor?] Yes, he would sit on the floor or kneel on the floor and paint those Cezanne-ish works that he was working on at the time.