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Celebrating 30 years of colour

Tuesday July 24, 2018 Written by Published in Culture
One of the many highlights of the Kay George exhibition at the Bergman Gallery on Saturday evening was this line up of locals and visitors wearing attire designed and screen printed by the artist with her unmistakably “Pacifi c” designs. The outstanding show of George’s work drew around 200 people to the gallery to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her arrival on Rarotonga. One of the many highlights of the Kay George exhibition at the Bergman Gallery on Saturday evening was this line up of locals and visitors wearing attire designed and screen printed by the artist with her unmistakably “Pacifi c” designs. The outstanding show of George’s work drew around 200 people to the gallery to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her arrival on Rarotonga.

When Kay and her husband the late Ian George held art exhibitions at the former Art Studio (now Beluga Cafe) in Arorangi, they were invariably spectacular and thoroughly enjoyable occasions, attended by everyone from the late Tinomana Ruta Ariki, through to Rarotonga residents both local and papa’a – and the invariable sprinkling of visitors from further afield.

 

On Saturday, 30 years to the day since Kay arrived on the island, there was another exhibition of her distinctive artwork in all its various forms. It was held at the Bergman Gallery at the Beachcomber building, but easily matched the shows of years gone by for the amount of interest it created.

For many of the 200 or so guests who attended, it would have brought back many happy memories as residents and former residents caught up for a chat and locals mingled with visitors from overseas.

The work on display was spectacular, drawing on the artist’s long-time interest in colour, and incorporating all manner of media from wall hangings and paintings through to textiles and furniture.

Adding to the colourful and happy atmosphere was the fact that many of the guests wore Kay George designed attire and it is testimony to the longevity of her art that one pareu dated back to around 1999.

The exhibition was made up of an amazing 50 different works spanning lamp shades, organza silk curtains, fabrics, paintings, digital vinyl, wall hangings, window seats, tables, chairs, shoes and even a toilet seat all bearing the renowned iconic imagery of this well-known Pacific artist.

Bergman Gallery-represented artists Reuben Paterson and Sylvia Marsters who flew in from New Zealand to be at the opening as did many special guests and friends of the artist.

Guest speakers included CITC general manager Gaye Whitta, artist Joan Gragg, Bergman Gallery director Ben Bergman and Kay George. George’s emotional speech paid tribute to her late husband Ian and her fond memories of many experiences on Rarotonga.

Yesterday, taking it easy after many months of work putting the exhibition together, George said she was delighted with the response to the show, which she described one of the biggest staged on the island in recent years.

“It gave everyone a good chance to catch up. It was quite emotional for me, as I wished Ian could have been there, and being 30 years to the day since I first arrived on Rarotonga made it really special.

Years of Colour 1998-2018 runs until August 26.

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