SCAPE 6 - The Lambs' Book of Life (Folder Wall)
by Darryn George
The Lambs’ Book of Life (Folder Wall) was both a painting and a sculpture on an enormous scale.
Previously designed for the former Government Life Tower Building in Cathedral Square, Darryn George’s revised work enveloped the newly exposed western wall of the Christchurch Civic Offices, formerly obscured by the St Elmo Courts Building.
George’s design was based on an internal view of a filing cabinet drawer with the receding label tabs of suspended folders seen as a metaphor for the function of records and registers in Christian theology. The work brought a fresh sense of hope into an increasingly busy section of the central city.
The Lambs’ Book of Life (Folder Wall), Darryn George, 2011
© SCAPE Public Art & Darryn George
Christchurch-based artist Darryn George has been exhibiting regularly since he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 1993. Following a Diploma of Teaching gained in 1994, George attended the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and gained an MFA in Painting. In 2004 George completed an ambitious, large-scale wall painting, which featured in Telecom Prospect. In 2007 he secured a major commission with Deutsche Bank New Zealand, and was included in Contemporary Projects, one of four artists’ projects curated by Sarah Farrar for the City Gallery in Wellington. In March 2008 George featured at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in Pulse, a massive floor-to-ceiling wall installation stretching more than 50 metres in the William A Sutton Gallery.
George often works with or references the physical structures of wharenui in his paintings. While having an emphatic, material presence the pieces often work through the vocabulary of a Maori aesthetic recontextualised in a Christian manner. Referencing both representational systems and Western traditions of abstract painting, the artworks generate certain allusions to spiritual presence or a sense of transcendence from the material, particularly through the optical rhythm of the pieces.