Jhana Millers presents 'Molecular Motel', an exhibition of recent works by Denys Watkins, featuring ceramics made in collaboration with Bronwynne Cornish.

Notes on Molecular Motel by Denys Watkins

Unhinged days these. Associations closed, minds stultified. Information? Barriers up. Thank god for this archaic practice. Shining a light in the landscape and small moments.


1985. Entering Canberra down the main two lane entrance and exit. The lush grassed median strip. Ordered planting of flowering shrubs, interspersed with the conical spray of sprinklers, under which, chattering musk lorikeets, ringnecks, king parrots and lovebirds, stroll about in unhinged shuffle and dance, surrounded by charcoal hills from recent fires, soon to be green shoots of regrowth. Later in the day, I'm at the downtown cinema, Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece METROPOLIS, remastered and restored by Gorgio Moroder.


These are visual components, possibly unrelated, locked into my filing cabinet of memories. These vignettes are recalled over a period of time as a reference without context to events and places. You cast the net at art history, somethings get caught in the net, others slip through the mesh, returning at a later time. References can be unrelated in a moment, or time, just there, low humming in the stored memory bank. I'm just there, hoping that by manipulation, works will gain a life of there own, entities of themselves. Not an easy activity, you can't predict the outcome. Everything is the result of receptivity.


This process engages me in the ongoing, unpredictable challenge, of unknown outcomes. Engaging in layered forms, transparencies, shallow space, tone, hues, solids. Small openings that leave a crack in the door where the light floods in. No obvious narratives, some natural forms. Fragile associations. Why should this make sense. That's the fetish.

The world I knew

it has vanished and gone

leaving this forest of stone.

Ewan McColl

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  • Te Aro
  • Te Whanganui-A-Tara, Wellington