Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Friday, January 26, 2018
DYNAMO HUM -an artist book by Denys Watkins
by Matt Blomeley
by Anna Miles and Francis McWhannell
with Allan Smith and Denys Watkins
by Index – Jonty Valentine
HUM is an artist book by Denys Watkins, featuring his paintings from 2004 to
is a highly respected New Zealand contemporary artist. A long serving teacher
of thirty-one years at Elam School of Fine Arts that, in 2011, he left to
pursue full-time studio art practice.
he turns his multifaceted interests to creating a book as art statement.
the introduction by Matt Blomeley:
Hum presents an enticing and rare glimpse into the practice of an artist whose
work bridges several generations yet remains undeniably in the present . . .
resolved formally, yet liminal and mysterious, Denys Watkins’ paintings are the
result of endless curiosity and intense labour . . .
en masse, the effect is like a jukebox of carefully curated 45s, each work and
title a modernist tone poem reflecting the fascinations and recalled moments of
an individual with a voracious appetite for culture . . .
has observed all manner of cultural artifacts in an artistic career now
spanning five decades. Images, objects, textures, sounds and shapes, anything
deemed relevant and necessary to a particular composition or series has been
fair game within his visual milieu.
metaphor of music is especially relevant for Watkins; a keen guitarist and avid
music fan. Recent years have seen him combining nature and abstraction.
Reflecting his humanism and concerns for the natural world, the success of
these paintings relies on carefully working out the corybantic visual stimuli
residing within each composition until a fine level of balance is achieved. It
is a compelling way of engaging with abstraction. Adhere labels as you please:
on point, political, environmental, bricoleur, collector, craftsman . . .
his work, Watkins says, ‘It’s a sort of tapestry of information, weaving in
events and histories and all determined by the way the paint goes down, then
embellished to construct formal visual activity.’
Case bound and section sewn
pages printed on 170 gsm gloss
pages printed on 140 gsm offset
End papers 160 gsm Kaskad Warbler
Cover – Savanah red woven linen
Cover embellishment – foil over linen using silver black foil
case-bound hard-cover, 43 colour plates, 305mm x 235mm