Ian George – The Guardians.
Ian George, The Guardians. Tamanu wood, 840x470mm, 1991.
Ian George was an avid art educator, carver and painter. He was known for his central focus on the restoration and reinvention of Cook Islands iconography, namely that of traditional gods, in particular the god Tangaroa. Through these images, Ian referred back to a pre-Christian era. He revealed the traditional beliefs, customs and practices, most importantly the spiritual identity of the Cook Islands people. Ian’s engaging, multi-layered works sought not only to re-affirm his identity, but also served as a way to preserve the history and dignity of the spiritual beliefs held by pre-missionary Cook Islanders.