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.
Through his painting career Darryn George has had a strong interest in geometric abstraction and the physicality of surface. Sign and symbol play an important role in the generation of images, with meaning-laden words often forming part of the structure. “George’s paintings spring from a belief in the power and cultural force of pattern – a faith that decorative forms carry as much cultural voltage, speak as powerfully, as any other kind of image” (Justin Paton 2008). His Christian faith underlies his philosophy and comes through in the meditative quality of all his work, even the most austere. At times his faith is manifest, as in Ariki #8, an evocation of prayer. His 2020 exhibition Grasses, shrubs & trees depicts the Garden of Eden and a return to innocence. They flourish with new life. “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2.9).
He has exhibited widely in New Zealand including Darryn George Maori Abstraction at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (2014); Kaitiaki at Pataka Art and Museum, Porirua City (2012); Pulse at Christchurch Art Gallery (2008) and Countdown at Wellington City Gallery (2007). His work has been installed at the Canterbury Museum, Kaitiaki (2013) and was Lamb’s Book of Life, Folder Wall for SCAPE 2011, Christchurch Biennial. George has exhibited at Span Galleries, Melbourne and at the Melbourne Art fair and most notably was included in Personal Structures a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2013.
His work is held in public collections in New Zealand including Te Papa Tongarewa, Christchurch Art Gallery and the Chartwell Collection. In 2000 he was a finalist in the Wallace Art Award and in 2020 was the Wallace Arts Trust Second Award Winner. The volume, Darryn George, was published in 2010 and features his paintings and installations from 2004 – 2010.