Chris, who is in his 60’s, lives in the Eastern Bay with his wife, and his adult children live nearby. Chris was born in the lower part of the North Island and moved with his family around New Zealand because of his Father’s job. Mostly, they were living in small towns, and he and his siblings spent a lot of time outside, which he loved. Describing this Chris said, “It was a great life being brought up in the country you know, we drove tractors and had guns and rabbits and we had a lot of fun.” Eventually, when Chris was 15, his family settled in the Eastern Bay and he worked in different jobs including on a farm. But after the crash of ‘87 he left the farm and eventually found work at the local mill. Chris worked there for 30 years until he had to leave work because of an accident that has left him with chronic pain. Chris’s life has changed dramatically, he is no longer able to be an ‘outside man.’ As he explains, “I used to be a fisherman, hunter, loved my fishing, boys in the bush…” Although his family was very supportive, Chris became lonely and isolated until his daughter suggested that he join the VEBV. The friendships Chris made after joining the VEBV meant a lot to him. Describing the pleasure of making new friends and the sense of purpose he has found through helping his fellow VEBV members, he said, “I just clicked on to some of the people, I felt really good, and I really enjoyed them, and I was looking forward to the next week. I love, love the new friends I’ve got, they’re lovely people and It's opened my eyes a lot. It’s showed me their problems and some things I still can’t do, but some things I can help them with, you know, and I enjoy it.”


I am Chris

I try to be a good person

I am a family man and love some many

I feel hurt when people are mean to others

One day at a time

One step a day

And soon I am flying

Speaking further about this depiction of himself Chris said it described two parts of him, with one side being “busy, busy, in a nice, colourful way. And then blackness and then sort of a white stars, just life again, where things are black, there's always whiteness. Yeah, there's a brightness there”

- Chris


“I was thinking about the EBV and drawing the links. Some are unbroken and some aren’t, but all links can be mended you know. Yeah, because everybody's not linked up you know, everybody's got their things, and sometimes it takes a bit more time to get to know people and understand people. Just because I feel one way doesn't mean they feel the same way or anything like that.” 


Chris describes his body using nature, speaking visually about his body lying on the grass, on the earth with the sun shining down on him.


“My spirit and how I felt, it’s just green, green grass, just in the grass just enjoying myself and clouds and the sky, it's just a nice day. A nice feeling. I was feeling good because I like the outside. I'm an ‘outside man’, I like freshly mown grass and stuff like that, and a nice day, and a few clouds in the sky, and the sun shining brightly.”


“My emotions are just colourful, just going around and around, and everything around me is all different. It was swaying and moving things going around, things happening, and then it’s how I capped it off, on the top and bottom.”

My Power

“Well, that was just putting everything together and my thing was the colours, it’s all about colours. I love colour and that shape is a flower. Flowers to me, are just about life you know?  Yeah, I like that, I like it because of the brightness, just showing you know I’m here, I'm not going to sit quietly. I think my power is that, it’s all about colour, and being in the world because the world is full of colour.

Pleasure &

Chris gathers strength and pleasure from nature and his family, and the sense that he continues to grow, which is described in the short poem that he wrote to accompany his art work: “A little seed, A seedling growing, Watching seeing, Year after year.”