Monday, 03 June 2019 09:33

Garden of Eden

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." This quote from Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk, whose great influence as a writer, poet, theologian, humanitarian and social activist resonates powerfully in our 21st century age of technology and new ways of being connected. And art is a critically valuable tool in expressing our humanity and connection.

Garden of Eden #15.

Darryn George is a New Zealand artist of Ngapuhi descent who lives in Christchurch. He uses abstract patterns and symbols in a textured oil on canvas medium to tell stories.

I first encountered Darryn in an interview on Radio NZ when he was invited to exhibit at the 2013 Venice Biennale. I was delighted to meet him subsequently and develop a deeper appreciation for his style and message. Darryn seeks to juxtapose traditional and modern images to render spiritual and social themes both explicitly and implicitly in his work.

A theme that resonates particularly strongly with me is the importance of vertical and horizontal connections in a flourishing life and community. These vertical connections can be spiritual and transcendent, or they can be along elevations of age and time. The horizontal connections are those between people in their diversity, as well as the wider environment, including nature, structures, organisations and world views.

It is in this sense that Darryn’s work gives a visual representation of the social message in my new book ‘This Old Stick’. I want the collection of stories to honour the elderly in our communities and to encourage us all to seek connections with the unique treasure that each of them are, and in doing so, build flourishing communities. Please have a look at to find out more about 'This Old Stick'. 'Garden of Eden #15'  is a painting by Darryn George which represents a connected community, living in harmony, innocence, warmth and beauty, in the presence of the tree of life.

Last modified on Sunday, 18 August 2019 13:46

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