The Workshop

The art works and poetry in this virtual exhibition were created in a contemplative art workshop that ran in March, 2023, in Whakatāne, the Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand


Eight members of the Virtual Eastern Bay Villages: Te Kokoru Manaakitanga (VEBV: TKM) participated in a day-long art and meditation workshop that began with introductions, where participants were introduced to each other and the art and meditation exercises that were drawn from the Meditative Process Art (MPA) method.

The workshop ran for 6 hours, with breaks for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. All the art materials were provided and participants were taken through introductory art and meditation practices. Importantly for the research project “Arts-based delivery of an Innovative Model of Aged Care: Systematizing and Disseminating the Virtual Eastern Bay Villages: Te Kokoru Manaakitanga (VEBV: TKM) Model of Aging in Place” this workshop was one of the project’s two data collection sites. 

Chris - My Power
Fiona - My Mind

Art Practices

In the workshop participants were introduced to Process Art, which focuses on the practitioners’ subjective or felt experience, as opposed to the creation of art products.

The contemplative practices used in the workshop, such as breath and present moment awareness, were used to help participants move into a more relaxed and contemplative mode of consciousness so they could access a deeper symbolic and felt realm. The Process Art then helped them describe and solidify these feelings, with the resulting art works offering a material depiction of their subjective experience that could be used in workshop discussions, or later reflections.


After the introductions at the beginning of the day, participants experience was scaffolded, that is they moved from preliminary to more advanced practices. This started with a contemplative art practice in which participants expressed the sense of their body, mind, emotions, and spirit using colour, shape, and lines. They then created symbols that: represented what gave them pleasure and strength, their power, themselves, and the VEBV: TKM.

Molly - My Emotions
Renata - After the VEBV

Bringing it
all together

After lunch participants combined all they had learnt in the earlier part of the workshop to create two final works. One that represented themselves before the VEBV: TKM, and one after the VEBV: TKM. The workshop concluded in a sharing circle with participants sharing their works with each other, particularly their final two works depicting changes in their lives, resulting from joining the VEBV: TKM.