DARRYN GEORGE – recent painting – 16 July-10 Aug, 2018
Darryn George presents an exhibition of nine of his most recent abstract paintings. These works – enriched with deep, saturated blues and reds – all centralise a Maori word that directly translates to communicate an underlying meaning.
‘The Journey paintings record places the Israelites went through, after leaving Egypt, on their way to the Promised Land. The names can be found in Numbers 33 of the Bible. Some are where significant events are known to have occurred. Of others, only the name has survived; whatever may have happened there has been lost to history. We do not even know exact location of places such as Alush (Aruhu). However, these names represent a stage on the journey and for that reason alone they are important.
This is perhaps a metaphor for life. Many steps are taken as we journey through life and over time the details of each day may be forgotten. Yet, uneventful days are no less important in getting to the final destination. Not every day is a ‘mountaintop experience’ yet each day marks another step in the right direction. For the nation of Israel, the journey from Egypt was a reminder that their God protected and guided them, both to the Promised Land, and through life.
The Journey paintings have smoky backgrounds: a link to God’s leading from the cloud. They also take the shape of tukutuku patterns with kowhaiwhai overpainting. Some patterns have pedestrian crossing readings. I was also inspired by Mark Rothko’s meditative paintings.
On another level, the Journey paintings are a metaphor for the life of an artist. Each day the artist goes to the studio to work. And while each day may not be a equally inspired, there are small steps in the right direction.
For Christchurch, not every day provides a ‘mountaintop experience’ as we head towards the ‘promised land’ of a rebuilt city.
The smaller View over Kaikoura paintings are about another place that experienced significant earthquakes. These incorporate the words Rewa (rise), Kaha (strength), Piki (helper).’