Big names support art auction for stroke rehabilitation

MEDIA RELEASE: Māpura Studios

4 May 2016
Jacqueline Fahey, Michael Smither, Gerda Leenards and Ronnie van Hout are among the big-name artists contributing work to a charity art auction in Auckland on 28 May to raise funds for Māpura Studios’ art therapy programme for people recovering from the trauma of stroke.

The auction, to be held at Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, is a partnership between Māpura Studios and Rotary Club of Mt Eden.

Gerda Leenards with Dusky Waterfall, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 31x10cm Nine thousand people in New Zealand are affected by stroke each year, with many losing cognitive and/or physical ability, and loss or confusion of speech (Aphasia). This affects different aspects of life, changing roles, relationships and financial situations, and can lead to anxiety, depression, lethargy and loss of a sense of identity. The impact on individuals and families can be devastating.

“Māpura Studios is doing wonderful work with art therapy helping people recover from stroke, and other great art programmes for people with diverse disabilities,” Gerda Leenards says. “They are a very worthwhile organisation and I urge art buyers to support this auction.”

Other acclaimed artists contributing to the auction include Mary McIntyre, Elizabeth Thomson, Stuart Shepherd, Glen Hayward, Brett Graham, Sue Daley, Chris Knox, Gareth Price, Lindsay Missen, Katherine Smyth, Patrick Lundberg, and more.  

A wide range of painting, sculpture and jewellery is on offer and true to its commitment to inclusion and diversity, Māpura Studios is presenting the work of its artists alongside established artists in the contemporary art scene.

Inclusive creative space

Māpura Studios is an inclusive creative space in Fowlds Park, St Lukes, offering an innovative and effective programme of visual art therapy for people who have experienced a stroke. Art therapists and fine art tutors engage participants in the art-making process so they can express the complex range of physical, emotional and mental experience a person has as a result of the trauma of stroke. 

Regaining a sense of purpose and self-worth, developing skills, self-expression and wellbeing are among the benefits participants experience. They also report a decrease in anxiety and depression and increased optimism and desire to re-engage with life.

"Accepted without judgment"

Some participants go on to identify as artists and exhibit their work through Māpura Studios' exhibition programme. Past participant and auction contributor Thonia Brooks says of Māpura’s Stroke Art Therapy programme: “It gives me access to a part of myself I never knew existed. Being fully accepted without judgment helps my confidence and encourages me to continue to keep trying. I very much look forward to one day exhibiting a body of work.”

Māpura Studios receives no government funding. It is only through fundraising that these and other art programmes for people with diverse and often complex disabilities can be delivered.

You can view works online from Monday 6 May. An online silent auction will open two weeks prior to the main event at Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Art Centre on Saturday 28 May. Register your interest and receive updates by contacting Māpura Studios (T: 09 845 5361 E: W:    

For interviews and enquiries:

Jenny Hutchings, Community Development Manager
Māpura Studios
T: 0274 058 260 E:


Big names support art auction for stroke rehabilitation


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