The late Geoffrey Irving was a New Zealand wood sculptor with over 40 years experience in his field. He moved to Raglan with his young family in 1985 and taught wood working at Raglan Area School for many years before moving overseas. When he returned, he was excited and inspired by the landscapes of Aotearoa and to be a part of a land that’s re-constructing its identity. Geoff felt that artists can play an important and provocative teaching role in the Māori renaissance and redefining of Kiwi identity. Much of his storytelling through artwork and exhibitions blended his Bahá’í Faith and his love for Te Ao Māori; Geoff felt the two shared the same wairua.
He worked for the last eleven years at Ngāruawahia Primary School teaching woodturning and wood and bone carving. He had a particular love for Whāingaroa and spent as much time here as he could. It’s befitting that his art will be displayed in the granny-flat he built – a wish he often expressed in the years before his passing in 2022.