© 2018 Art for Change NZ

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Depot artspace    September 2019

VENUE: Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence Street,
Devonport, Auckland
OPENS: 2pm, Saturday 21st September
CLOSES: 4pm, 9th October 2019
THEME: Empathy, compassion and non violence

Nourishing the
Roots Of Empathy

An art exhibition towards a non-violent Aotearoa/NZ

About the artWORKS

Most artwork has been created especially for the exhibition by members of the Art for Change Collective. 

We are also delighted to have artists from the Piki Toi collective contributing to the Roots of Empathy exhibition. Can't wait to see the paintings they're currently creating for the show! Here are some of them, with samples of their existing work. 

From left to right: Ceanna Waa, Martin Rawiri, Brenda Liddiard (from AFC), Tiare Turetahi, Rob Smith.

These students from Pinehill School are among those whose artwork, created in the Roots of Empathy programme, will be on display at the exhibition. Devonport artists, Tina Frantzen and Holly Sanford visited the school recently with Art for Change organiser, Brenda Liddiard.

Local artists (L to R) Tina Frantzen and Holly Sanford with Art for Change exhibition organiser, Brenda Liddiard, and Pinehill School students (L to R), Larry Li, Camellia Zhang and Ryan Laugeson-Mitchell.

Artists – questions about submissions? Check out our FAQ page here.

images from the exhibition opening

Why is Empathy important?

Empathy helps dissolve the borders that separate us and allow us to deem one group or an individual to be less human. Empathy allows us to understand difference and recognise that our emotions are universal and connect us.

The tragic events in Christchurch on March 15th have brought into even sharper focus the need for the work that this upcoming fundraising exhibition will support. This project will give artists and the general public the opportunity to assist an organisation that is having a positive impact on children's understanding of themselves, and their attitudes to, and interactions with, each other.


Artists are telling us that the mosque attacks, and the resulting outpouring of grief, empathy and support for Muslim communities, is helping to sharpen their ideas for artwork to contribute to the exhibition in September.

Questions about submissions? Check out our FAQ page here.

Who are roots of empathy?

Expressing empathy through art is an important part of this unique programme. In the Roots of Empathy model, a baby becomes the teacher, visiting a class regularly during the school year and helping children develop essential social skills that they can share with their families and community. 

Artwork by children from schools participating in Roots of Empathy will also be on display.

Some 16,000 New Zealand children have benefitted from Roots of Empathy over the past 12 years. New Zealand was the first country outside Canada to trial the programme, which is now run in 14 countries.

Roots of Empathy New Zealand manager Ally Fulcher says more than 35 schools are waiting to take on the programme and they desperately needs more funding to train more volunteer instructors.

Funds raised by the sale of artworks will be donated to help expand the important primary school-based work of the New Zealand Roots of Empathy programme.

Founder Mary Gordon will be speaking at the exhibition opening. She talks about the Roots of Empathy more in-depth presenting this Ted Talk.

Proudly supported by

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Funds raised support

Photos by Patrick Byrne