Eco Coffin Project Artist: Maursie McKenzie (2020)

Maursie McKenzie

Shroud. Artist: Maursie McKenzie. Title: Four Seasons of Life. Dimensions: 2450 x 2740 mm

Artist: Maursie McKenzie

Type: Shroud

Title: Four Seasons Of Life

Dimensions: 2450 x 2740 mm

Materials: vintage queen bed sheet, eco-paint

more detail

Why did you choose to work on a shroud rather than a coffin?

The Shroud was my preferred option due to the fact that I have limited storage space in my unit, as well as not having an actual dedicated work area, so I found an old canvas big enough to drape my shroud into four separate parts and work on it season by season virtually.

What materials have you used for your artwork?

I chose to use a Queen size sheet as a blank canvas, and I decided to use acrylic paints for my Four Seasons of Life theme, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring plus I added some highlights to reflect my love of nature and all the beauty surrounding us every day, such as butterflies and birds and some glitter for a bit of sparkle. I do like my bit of bling.

What is the story behind your artwork. What does it represent about you and your life story?

The title, The Four Seasons of life are an integral part of what shapes my life, as a photographer, and avid gardener. My thoughts behind choosing this theme was to reflect my character and love of life and all my surroundings through the four seasons, and I do love to get out in nature with my camera, or work in my garden and veggie patch. My choice of a rainbow coloured winter Season again reflects who I am and would like to be remembered fondly as a colourful character who enjoyed life and all it dealt me.

What are 3 things you have learned from being part of the eco coffin project?

  • There are alternatives available to the normal ideal funeral
  • That life is very fragile and the people in the funeral industry are to be commended for their thoughtful and sensitive approach to what could be a very emotive situation for a family. It was very interesting to visit the cemeteries and listen to the speakers discussing the topic of death and our final journey.
  • That there is such a thing as an End of Life Guide to support and assist families through the whole death and dying process.

What is one thing you will do (or have done already) differently as a result from being part of the project?

Talked openly with my family around my thoughts and wishes for my final journey, which we would probably have skirted around before this project.

Any other thoughts or comments you would like to add?

It has been a very enlightening and informative process for me and especially when dear Murray died during the project, which brought home, just how fragile life is. To watch Jan and everyone come together to bring Murray’s dream to a reality was very humbling, at the least.


This Project helped me to face an inevitable journey that we avoid discussing with our family. I have thoroughly enjoyed this Project and the passion and dedication of all in our little group has been wonderful to watch. How the dynamics of the group has evolved and grown, is basically all due to Abby’s dedication to the success and eventual outcome of exhibiting our respective pieces of work, which are very diverse as well. It is interesting to note that, for me at least, at the start of this project I had some preconceived ideas as to how this very emotional and sensitive issue would be handled. I think Abby as Facilitator is an excellent match, as she brings passion, thoughtfulness, sensitivity and drive, which this project needed. Thank you Abby.

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