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Image Credit: Amos Mann

How is Your Heart?

Siân Quennell Torrington

(Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington)

24-25 February 2024, 10am-10pm daily

It’s hard to say how we are these days; perhaps we are overwhelmed. How is your heart? offers audiences expressive wearable sculptures and drawings to stand in for words, expressing complexity, beauty, hope and fear. Expressing the internal externally without judgement, an invitation towards empathy for ourselves and others.


These ritual objects offer to make the internal visual, make feelings physical. I have found this practice helps. That the heart wants to be seen. By seeing and being seen, we can communicate, acknowledge, and thus experience ease. I have witnessed a natural compassion when others choose to put them on. People cradle and hold what might have felt incommunicable, or a source of shame – ‘feeling too much’, ‘not wanting to be a burden’. When the burden is made physical, we are more able to feel care for what we, and others, are carrying.


The sculptures are complex, drippy, tangled and beautiful. They are colourful, bold, dark and tight. They come from a place of listening – surrounded by soft walls of drawings of people, colour and energy. They are this moment, many moments, honoured and recorded. It is your choice – pick a word or a small drawing, no words required. Joy, flat, tight, open, hopeful, tangled, layered. All feelings are welcome, all are honoured in this space of creative expression and reflection.

Siân Quennell Torrington (Welsh / Pākeha / Tangata Tiriti, she / her) is a artist who believes that creative process can challenge entrenched systems, opening us to new possibilities of empathy, social change, connection and care. Warmth, permission, encouragement, play and expression are key methods of her practice. With over a decade of research and practical teaching, facilitation and public speaking experience, she shares creative processes through experiential learning and her own art. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, been commissioned to make works for public art institutions, and has been awarded two international artist residencies. Torrington graduated with an MFA with distinction from Massey University in 2010.

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