Evans’ Cre­ative Mind IS IN DE­MAND

mailife - - Lorem Ipsum - By MELA KATONIVUALIKU Pho­tos IVAMERE ROKOVESA

“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.

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