Tomorrow on TV3's Sunrise we'll be featuring the McCahon houses in Auckland's Titirangi - the artists' residence designed by Pete Bossley and Andrea Bell, and the cottage that McCahon himself and his family owned in the early 1950s. Here's a view of the artists' residence, designed to snake its way through the trees. (The photographs are by Patrick Reynolds.)


The artists' residence is administered by the McCahon House Trust, which selects the artists who, lucky things, to get reside and work there for three-month periods. The artists who have spent time there since it opened in 2007 include Judy Millar, Rohan Wealleans, Gavin Hipkins, James Robinson, Richard Lewer, Luise Fong, Eve Armstrong and Lisa Reihana. You can find out more information about the trust, its work and the artists it has hosted on its website, www.mccahonhouse.org.nz.

In the image below, you can see both the artists' residence and the original McCahon cottage, and how they relate to each other on the site. The original cottage is further down the hill, and while it's lovely in summer, it would have been very damp and gloomy in winter.

The restoration of the original McCahon house was managed by architect Graeme Burgess, while Rick Pearson designed the discreet displays that tell visitors about McCahon, his life and his work. I remember wanting to use this shot below of the kitchen (with its painting by McCahon on the cupboards) on our April/May 2007 cover, but then getting cold feet. I wish now that I'd been braver about it, not only because the image is one which would resonate with many New Zealanders, but because I think the house is a very eloquent building that tells us a lot about an aspect of our history. It's a place I always like to take overseas visitors to - even if they don't know McCahon, there's something about visiting the house that feels like a very authentic New Zealand experience.
And here's the exterior of the original (and very humble) cottage, with the artists' residence just discernable in the background. Tune into TV3 tomorrow around 8.40am to see more, or check the link on the website when we post it.
 
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