Evans’ Creative Mind IS IN DEMAND
“CREATIVE people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play.” So said French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954), and it best describes installation and mixed media artist George Evans. His talents include elaborate, large scale interior and exterior mosaic works and unique special-order pieces which are featured in many of Fiji’s premier resort properties and private homes. The 49 year old is of the view that creativity is just making interesting connections between things. He blends the art of making mosaic mirrors with sustainable and recyclable resource materials including incorporating mother of pearl shell acquired from harvested J.Hunter Pearls. George began working in mosaic using tiles and later moved on to mirrors. “After that it just took off from there, I just kept creating my own pieces and here I am making money out of it,” Evans said. Asked where he was from, Evans proudly punched the air and said “Sawana Village in Lau”. His vibrant personality and sense of humour enliven his present Votualevu home in Nadi. Inside his living room is an old shelf brought to life with a dash of white paint and three Indian paintings on each shelf door. By the wall are three huge cushions with different coloured butterflies on the slip covers. Not to go unnoticed is his small black transistor radio placed neatly on a stool, aerial upright, trying to get a clear signal so George can listen to the news and music on Gold FM station. With what he earns these days, Evans should be able to have a stereo or a bigger, better radio – but no. “You know what, old is gold and I love my small radio so please move around this area with care so you don’t knock it down,” he said.
Before he begins work on a piece, Evans first has to have courage for what he is doing – courage in the sense that he feels confident with his work. His art is unique and he seems he is the only one to be doing it locally. “This is my full-time work and I am lucky I have a niche market for my product,” he said. He charges his customers by dimensions of the piece, ranging from about $800 to $2500. “If they want shells included it costs more but most of them prefer having shells.” Evans’ distinctive collages that use a combination of natural materials representing Fiji’s various tapa traditions have also become prized pieces for discerning collectors over the years. His constant creative focus for melding traditional Fijian elements with modern design has Evans sought after for developing interior schemes for luxury homes and villas, particularly on Fiji’s exclusive Denarau Island, and for providing aesthetic direction at various island resorts. Constantly on the move and with an innate love of socialising to fuel his inspiration, Evans is most often surrounded by local personalities and artistic community who continue to inspire his work with their cultural diversity and appreciation of all things Pacific.
George Evans showcasing some of his mosaic mirrors.