DARRYN GEORGE ‘Let the birds increase’ 1-24 November 2022

Teeming with colour these new works by Darryn George burst with life. Utopic visions are depicted through organic mark-making with a new introduction of birds perching amidst branches and foliage.

“I’m still interested in working with the Garden of Eden theme but I wanted to introduce birds because of Aotearoa’s special relationship with them – a symbol of our unique ecosystem which has come to represent culture and identity. Also, they are everywhere. They are beautifully ordinary and relatable for all people.”

Birds have long held symbolic roles in art and in spirituality. “There’s a sense of innocence in birds. Through a subtle shifting of the head I imbue the birds with personality, or perhaps a sense of curiosity or piety.”

Darryn George is best known for austere geometric paintings, often dominated by black, so the shift to freshly drawn pastel is profound. However, Darryn’s interest in rhythm and gridded structures continues to reveal itself, albeit with looser expression. With their vivid hues and flattened spaces the works in ‘Let the birds increase’ are reminiscent of Persian miniatures. We also see stylistic glimpses of Henri Matisse, Franz Marc, Joseph Stella and Pablo Picasso. And for many of us it is impossible not to remember holding a pastel as a child and joyfully pushing its intense pigment into paper.

Darryn George was born in 1970 of Ngapuhi descent. He lives and works in Christchurch. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in 1993, a Diploma of Teaching at the Christchurch College of Education in 1994 and in 1998 a Master of Fine Arts at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1999 he became the Head of Art at Christ’s College.

 Manu, ref 1.9.22, Darryn George, 2022 Painting, Oil pastel and acrylic on canvas, 760 x 1010mm, $10,500 Manu, ref 21.9.22 Darryn George, 2022 painting, Oil pastel and acrylic on canvas, 610 x 450mm