Finding Venus is an Award Winning Body Positive 3 day Arts Festival that is spreading self compassion in its wake as it makes its way around New Zealand.

This workshop celebrates the women of the community in all shapes, sizes, and ages not just the 1-5% seen in mainstream media.


Festival Schedule






Details Below

Saturday No Cost Body Positive Art Workshop - Female Only


(An event for those who identify as female)

A free with ticket Arts Based Body Positive Workshop led by Mandi Lynn and the Luscious Order of Golden Shield Maidens. 

Free Ticket sponsored by your district's Creative Communities Grants.  Open to all ages and is appropriate for tweens and teens with parental guidance. 

9am - Welcome and Sign in

9:30 - Unpacking the Messages

An Exploration of the messages we have received in our life about our body.

3 different stations Using Textile Art, Written Word, Photography

11:00 - Meditative Movement / Dance

  • A guided mediation that leads you into your body for a check in and then helps you to become reacquainted with it.
  • Carefully selected music will help you travel from your root of your body up into your crown and back again.
  • This is open to all ages and abilities...and don't need to be a "dancer" to do just need a body and that body can be in a wheelchair if required.

12:00 Break for Lunch (You will need to bring your own)

1:00 - Health at Every Size -

  • Mandi Lynn a Liscenced Body Positive Facilitator - will give a brief introduction to the concept of Health at Every Size.

1:30 -Rebel Writing

  • Mandi Lynn teaches her journaling technique to help you change your relationship with your body to one of seeing it and treating it as your best friend.
  • It also helps with getting out of your own way in your creative pursuits.

2:30  Compassionately Creative Communities

  • We break into groups and discuss life as it is now...and how we want to change the world.
  • We make actionable plans to do it.

3:30 Closing Circle

 This workshop has been designed to be a stand alone workshop to help with moving from a body trashing to a body treasuring space.  If you would like to dig even deeper feel free to join the photoshoot that takes place afterwards. 

Saturday Evening - Golden Photoshoot - Ticketed Event

#Everybodyisatreasure Golden Photoshoot with Mandi Lynn -

Become a member of the Luscious Order of Golden Shieldmaidens!

For 18 years of age and older. (Your daughters can be present but will not be photographed unless babes in arms for the exhibition) - ($15.00 koha may apply for regions that's grants have only covered the workshop)

4:00 start - 18 and Older Every Body is a Treasure Body Painted (golden healing clay) Photoshoot.

Here is our Process:

Removing the no longer required:

You take three words that have been used against your body and are given a purple eye shadow pencil to write these words on your body.  We photograph your torso with these words.  Then we give you a wet wipe to actively remove them from your body. 

Choosing the way we look at our bodies

Then we give you a golden eye shadow pencil to write 3 healing words that you have chosen on to your body.  These are three words that you pledge to take forward an honour your body. 

We photograph this from the neck to the hips. 

Baking in our Choices - Becoming a Golden Shieldmaiden

Then you are given the golden healing clay to smear all over your torso.  At this point you are welcome to pledge to the Luscious Order of Golden Shield Maidens by stating that you promise to treat your body as your best friend from this day forward and to help create a body positive world for the next generation of women. 

Once you have done this we photograph you for the exhibition. 

(You get to choose if you wish to participate in the writing of the words or if you want to just do the clay shoot...the choice is always yours). 

We will be doing behind the scenes filming and videoing.  Those who do not wish to be featured for whatever reason will be separated and identified with a face painted heart on both cheeks.  This makes it clear for our filmmakers who is safe and who isn't safe to film as part of the behind the scenes and exhibition collection.  Our onsite film crew is entirely female. 

Does it cost to do this photoshoot?

For most regions this is a ticketed event to help cover the cost of the Clay,  Exhibition Printing, and Exhibition Frame Work.   Cost is $20.00.  (Grants are available.  Please email your request to

However the following Creative Communities Grants have covered the cost of putting on the event making it free for everyone:

  • South Tarankaki - Eltham Town Hall Event 6 January - Free

What happens to the Images?

The images of the golden body painted women are eventually posted on to Instagram as part of a social media campaign.  

The full size printed images are added to the travelling exhibition. 


Can I get a copy of my Image?

Yes. We will have the full size digital files available for those that subscribe to the Finding Venus Patreon Page at the $5.00 a month level.  They are not identified so to be fair you will have to take a guess as to which one is yours...but anyway all money collected is being used to make the world a more body positive place through the Everybody is a Treasure Charitable Trust.  


Saturday Later Evening - Body Positive Community Pot Luck

7pm - Body Positive Community Potluck Picnic Dinner and Bonfire of old thoughts (venue will vary depending on town and weather and if we get a fire permit otherwise it will be a BBQ of old thoughts ) 

Open to men women and children - but all must contribute to the feed in someway.

We will be announcing the venue for the Potluck Picnic on the Saturday Morning.  (If you have any ideas for the venue please feel free to email us at

Basically it will just be a place where you can come and chat with us about how your day went and where we can meet the town.   Bring a plate to share.  And the recipe too if you are feeling generous, so that we can share it online with a picture of the plate or you and the plate 

Bring a picnic blanket and drinks and togs if we find a place near water.

So recap of what to bring:

  • Plate to share plus a picnic set to eat off of a plate and silverwear
  • Recipe if you feel like sharing
  • Picnic blanket
  • Your own beverages to drink
  • Togs if we are near water
  • Bug repellent 
  • And if you have any -
    • a folding table and table cloth in case we get more food than our two tables will handle. 
    • BBQ if your plate requires cooking on a fire. 
    • Flowers in vases from your garden to make it look even prettier. 
    • Solar Fairy lights to decorate the trees.  

Sunday No Cost Day Events- Exhibition and Oral Histories


Free event open to the general public


The #Everybodyisatreasure Project is collecting 600 images of Kiwi women painted in gold, treasured exactly as they are with no photoshop.   This is Mandi Lynn's Gold award winning photographic response to the 600 altered images of a very narrow bandwidth of body types that we see each day in the media.   The ever growing exhibition of printed images will be on display.  The images taken the day before will be projected on to screens for women to see if they can identify themselves among the other women photographed. 

Oral Histories.

We will be collecting body stories during this time.  These stories will be woven together in a tapestry to create a final piece for the exhibition when it is completed. 

Master Classes

Friday Evening Master Class - Zen and the Art of Becoming Photogenic

 A course taught by Mandi Lynn, New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year.  Designed to help those who are camera shy to learn to be present in front of the camera with greater comfort. 


  • Are camera shy / phobic

  • Are missing from your family portraits

  • Always hide behind the camera or use small children as human shields if one is aimed at them

  • In business and need to be seen but would prefer to go to the dentist than a photographer.

  • You are thinking about getting into modelling and want to know what to do to look your best

  • You are a photographer and want to learn posing skills

  • You are sick of having crap facebook photos taken of you.




  • only show off one chin at a time 🙂
  • show your arms in their best light
  • make your bum look bigger or smaller depending on your preference
  • Look taller
  • Show off a waist even if you don't think you have one anymore (you will see)
  • Figure out what to do with your hands in photos.
  • learn the tricks that models know but the common woman doesn't have a clue about.

Other things you will learn:

  • Mandi's technique to learn to drop the body dramas and learn to become friends with your body.

  • Makeup and hair tips for all ages.

  • The behind the scenes of the fashion and film industry.  What are you really seeing when you look in a magazine or watch a movie.

Buy a ticket and make the world a more body positive and compassionate place-

100% of everyticket sold goes towards the Everybodyisatreasure Project

Tickets for Festival Attendees-  $20.00  General Admission 40.00 

Sunday Master Class - The Creative Mojo Dojo

Friday - Master Class 

7pm Start- The Creative Mojo Dojo - Taught by Mandi Lynn New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year.  Learn to get out of your own way and let your best creative work flow.  Ideal for photographers, artists, creatives, and business owners or those wanting to change careers into something that lights their soul. 

($20.00 for Festival Attendees and $40.00 General Admission)

Is your best creative work still inside you?

Want help getting out of your own way?

This master class is for your if any of the following apply

Idea Generation

  • Do you feel like the idea bucket is running dry?
  • Or do you have so much in your head you don't know where to start so you spin your wheels and not much gets done?
  • Do you find that you often start out with a great idea but stall before you can see it through?
  • Do you feel like everyone has done everything that is worth doing and you find it hard to think up anything new or original?
  • Do you get lost in the land of ideas and find it hard to pick something to focus on?
  • Do you start on a project and then get distracted and wonder where the hours have gone and are frustrated you haven't progressed much?

Creative Communication and Support

  • Do you struggle to clearly put to words what it is you would like to create in a way that engages people and draws them in?
  • Are your creative support networks strong and vibrant or thread bare or draining?
  • Do you end up prioritizing everyone else’s needs over your own creative ones and feel frustrated?


  • Do you feel like you are always putting off doing what you were born to do?
  • Do you have alot of unfinished projects laying around that guilt you everytime you look at them?
  • Do you make stuff but then lose confidence in its worth and never really show it to anyone?
  • Are you afraid that you are actually an imposter and your best just will never be good enough? (p.s. everyone feels like an imposter when they are stretching themselves into uncharted is one of the signs you are on the right track).

Skill set

  • Do you feel like your taste is far better than your current skill set?
  • Would you like some priceless extremely pragmatic techniques to bust through these barriers and bring your best creative work to life?

Any sound familiar? Brilliant you are in the right place.

This course is for you and your creative gifts.

Hi I'm Mandi Lynn.  I am New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year and I am going to teach you what I learned in my journey from being a burned out nurse to being a creative earning my crust playing everyday in a field that lights me up.

It is a class with equal mix of philosophy and pragmatic techniques to help you shift from spinning your wheels to pealing out of the starting gate...but most importantly learning how to see your ideas through to the finish line.

Your ticket price will help fund the making of Kiwi movie

Oh and there is a feel good factor too.  By taking this course you are helping a team of female film makers to make a body positive short film called Finding Venus.   Each of us working on this film is highly skilled in one area of film making but is stepping into a new more challenging role than we have ever held before and upskilling like crazy.  Your course fee is helping to fund us making our essentially you are becoming Patron Producers.  So thank you.   You win. We win.  Women win.  The New Zealand Film industry wins. All is good with the world.



What students have said about the course

"The tools Mandi offered were gold! Her way of looking at the world and her craft is deep, thoughtful and extremely helpful - it provokes me to dig deeper into my own." Tabitha

"Your course has given me a boost of passion-kick-up-the-backside to get started on my next projects. I loved the tools you offered us The seven circles is such a simple way of checking in with where we are at, raising self awareness, giving us some juice to work with. Your energy, honesty, compassion, joie de vivre is STUNNING! Thank you for sharing the love of exploring a life lived creatively." Catherine

"I came away feeling I had permission to be more creative and self compassionate in my work. I previously had thought I was really stuck for ideas and in a bit of a rut in terms of being happy with what I was doing.I have just sat down and looked at some of the main points in my notes I took away from last night and started a journal, I started with 'I give my self permission to. . . 30 minutes later I have 3 pages of writing and 2 pages of sketches for ideas and personal work.'. Mel

"I learnt new tools to get myself out of being creatively stuck. Also nice to see that others are struggling in the same way & to appreciate even the "failed" art as progress towards a better art/self" Suzanne

"Listening to everything Mandi shared, was clear, fresh water for my creative soul; motivating and inspiring, with concrete, practical ways to restore and enliven my creative practice." Erica

Be prepared.  When you stop wasting time worrying about the flaws of your body and instead start treating it like your best friend...well then you get heaps of energy back. 

This energy can ideally be used to make the world a better place by releasing your innate gifts and creativity...This course is designed to help you bring your best creative work to life. 

The Creative Mojo Dojo is a master class that will change the way you look at your creative process for good.

Book in By Picking The Closest town 

Jan 5-7th


Jan 12-14


Feb 23-25th


March 16-18th


Coming Soon - Other Regions...




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