Darryn George featured in Art Zone
A patterned contrast
George is Ngāpuhi, based in Christchurch, where he lives with his wife. His father came to Christchurch from the Bay of Islands, met his mother, and they raised their family of three children there. He’s the eldest of three boys. Religion was a big part of their upbringing, and Christian and Māori symbolism are constant themes of his work.
When he was at art school, Darryn George created a strategy he’s held to ever since: every so often, do the exact opposite of what you’re doing now.
“The reason you do that is to open the whole field up again.”
This strategy has fostered creativity and variation in George’s work over three-plus decades as a visual artist. Works in his latest series, the Garden of Eden, are explosions of colour and life, inspired by artists including Campendonk, Derain, and Matisse. The series features figurative plants and people — a new departure from his previously primarily geometric, abstract, work.
But similarities still find their way in. The Garden of Eden paintings retain a geometric system, using pattern and repetition. Stark contrasting colours are a feature throughout his entire body of work.
“That’s the thing when you do the opposite” he laughs. “After a while, you start to come back to where you were before.”
“Art for me is an expression of who I am. I’m just trying to be true to myself.”