Robert George is of Ngāti Kuki Airani (The Cook Islands) and of Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara (New Zealand Māori) heritage. Originally studying Fine Arts and Design, Robert gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology at Victoria University Wellington.
Robert started his career as a visual storyteller approximately 25 years ago when he began selling his acrylic paintings at a local cafe in Rotorua, culminating with his first exhibition in 1996.
In 2016 Robert won Emerging Māori Director award for his short film Smiths Ave at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival and again in 2020 he won the Best Pacific Short Film for his film I Am The Moment at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival.
His work in the gallery is often distinguished by his use of multiple screens. The five channel installation Horohoro (2018) was described as "...typified by his love of surrealist cinema, the materiality of film and a constant exploration of the human condition." - Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.
Another five screen work, A Memoir for Falling Light (2017), was accompanied by an installation of domestic furniture featured in the film. The artist described the work as seeking "...to embed an indigenous understanding of time and death into a reading of the final moments of a person’s life".
Robert has exhibited internationally, at venues in the Cook Islands, Australia, France and China. He regularly works with Walters Prize-nominated artist, Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, to document his performance-based art practice.
Robert runs The Raro Dog, a small creative studio in Tāmaki Makaurau with Petrina Togi-Sa’ena. He currently lives and works in Auckland with his fiance and son.
Essay by Stephen Turner (2018)
Southern Transmissions: Contemporary Video Art from Aotearoa, Duolin Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China
From The Shore, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland
A Memoir for Falling Light (solo show), Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland
Pacifique(s) Contemporain, L'Université Le Havre, Normandy, France
Tau Tupua: The Spirits, Fresh Gallery Ōtara, Auckland
Conversations in Mind, Queens Wharf, Auckland