10 Feb 2016
Creative New Zealand mourns the passing of senior Pasifika artist Ian David George who was loved and respected by his fellow artists throughout the Pacific.
New Zealand born, with Rarotonga and Atiu descent, Ian worked primarily as a painter and incorporated Cook Islands themes and Oceanic elements throughout his work. He also worked with wood and stone and his artworks are held in collections in New Zealand and internationally.
Arts Council member Caren Rangi, who is also a Cook Islander, says Ian George was a great artist.
"The arts world has lost one of its tumutoa (warriors) - an artist, a much loved teacher and a proud Cook Islander, who expressed his views and identity so eloquently through his pictures and sculptures."
A prominent artist in the Pacific Islands, Ian moved with his wife, artist Kay George, to Rarotonga to explore the home islands of his parents and understand their upbringing and ultimately their reasons for leaving for New Zealand. The Georges established The Art Studio Gallery in the village of Aorangi, which is today recognised as one of the leading galleries in the Pacific.
Ian was surrounded by his anau when he passed away peacefully at Sunset Road, Rotorua, on Monday 8th February 2016. He was the beloved husband of Kay; loved brother of Derek, Bruce, Sala, Vaine, Heidi, Pat, Philip and Jimi; much loved father of Ramana, Miria, Kataraina and Robert George; and was Papa to Louis Teariki and Harper Matila.
Ian was loved and respected by his fellow artists throughout the Pacific and adored by his A Team and colleagues at the Ministry of Education, Cook Islands.
E te kopu tangata o Ian, na te Atua kotou e tauturu mai, no kotou te tumatetenga, no matou te tumatetenga.
Aere ra e te taeake.
For a full biography, see Ian’s profile on Tautai’s website.
Photo courtesy of Ian George's family.