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Discussing the topic of death

Before I die Wall project.

The Tauranga Death Café Community is bringing the conversation around dying and death, mortality and life, out from behind the closed café doors. 

People are invited to write what they want to do before they die on a giant chalkboard cube with lots of coloured chalk.

Carole Mahood and Bronwyn Annand, the hosts of Tauranga Death Café and key facilitators for this project, say the participatory art installation is organic and alive, being at the whim of wit and weather. 

“The cube wall becomes a visual record of the thoughts and feelings in our community, around what matters most, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations and a snapshot of the hearts and minds of the people we share this town with,” says Carole.

“Photos of the cube will be regularly updated on Instagram.”

The original wall was created on an abandoned house in New Orleans, created by the artist Candy Chang after the death of someone she loved.

Today there are over 4000 walls around the world. The Tauranga cube will become part of the global community, paying tribute to living an examined life.

From the outset the project has fired up hearty conversations, with a generous team of supporters working to create the cube at Tauranga Historic Village.

The construction of the cube has been trusted to the capable hands of the Men’s Shed. Arts advice and consultation was gratefully received from the Incubator Creative Hub, as was the enthusiastic backing from Creative BOP.   

“I knew this was a great project,” says Bronwyn, “but the experience of meeting and working in a new community, who are collaborating and supporting this Tauranga Death Café vision with Carole and I, means the foundations for this Before I Die Wall is solid and so exciting.”

The cube will be onsite at the Historic Village for a limited time over the summer.

The Tauranga Death Café community is a made up of a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. The core team of volunteers who are overseeing the project bring skills such as building, event management, planning, art and humour.

Funding for this project is provided through Tauranga City Council and the Creative Community Scheme NZ.

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