Your Stories

"Spent today with the McCahons at Titirangi; we sat on the beach before lunch while the children bathed, then all afternoon till dusk on their terrace platform that seems suspended amidst the forest, the slender kauris with their light spring green rising from the leafage below & soaring high above. A deep murmur of insects in the forest, native pigeons flying now & then away from the trees, moreporks calling after dark…"  Landfall editor Charles Brasch 1955

Tell us your stories...

"I have been a docent since the inception of the project – over 5 years as I have spare time and it’s a very worthwhile project.

I have enjoyed learning about McCahon’s life and motivation and his impact on NZ art, also it is very interesting and informative seeing the work of the resident artists who have all been very interesting people undertaking a wide range of artist practice.  Talking to the visitors to the McCahon cottage is interesting and its very rewarding helping them to appreciate McCahon’s life and art and, although he wasn’t there for long, it was an extremely pivotal part of his career.

I have enjoyed talking to everyone who has visited the cottage – one quite elderly gentleman told me he encountered McCahon in a class when he was at Ilam or the Canterbury Art School and had done a painting of haystacks only to be told by McCahon – ‘haystacks in New Zealand don’t really look like that’.  Words to that effect. A salutary tale about the importance of our landscape.  Many to most people are very moved by visiting the cottage".

Pamela W

"I started at McCahon house in 2011 as a docent, while studying towards my masters degree in painting at Unitec. I relished the time spent in the quiet, bush surroundings & have met some wonderful people during my time there.

I have had some special moments when a woman came with Naomi McCleary who was a close friend with friends of Colin & Ann. I have spent time with a woman who was the cousin of Colin McCahon. My father came & reminisced of his times in that era & being at the same parties as Colin McCahon & Jenny Hunt was also at the same parties & she & my Dad had similar tales of those times at the Symonds street gallery of Don Moller's & Hamish Keith.

I remember two couples arriving & when looking at the chronological images on the wall of McCahon's works, one of them ribbing the other about 'who used to own that painting?' & the other one admitting that they had once, however his wife wanted a $40,000.00 kitchen renovation. There have been all sorts of reactions to the bunks downstairs from shock, horror to how free the kids must have been. Depending on whose perspective you listen to on the audio boxes, it seems that some enjoyed their time there more than others. From what I can gather it was the younger ones that had the most fun. I have since moved into the area & am living in a 1920s cottage myself. I have fallen in love with the area & enjoy my times as a docent at the cottage, sometimes it offers respite from what else is going on & other times I meet interesting people. Quite a few people relate to the era of architecture & either have lived in or holidayed or someone in their family has something with similar characteristics. 

Jan S