Memorial Hall, After Dark
50 x 50 cm
The Memorial Series continues to be one of James Watkins' most successful. Uniquely New Zealand in content and character this series, developed over the last 5 years, like so much of the artist's work, echoes a sense of home and community. As with Watkins' trademark Red/Blue Roof paintings and his later cubist masterpieces, these works stand on firm foundations, both artistically and architecturally.
Taranaki's 130 year old Rahotu Hall served as an early reference for Watkins' first Memorial Hall paintings. Throughout rural New Zealand, these buildings have long served as invaluable meeting places and today they remain treasured community assets. Their value is echoed in Watkins' paintings. Positioned in wide open spaces, often under sweeping skies, the viewer is sometimes welcomed by the flickering of tiny colour lights, chosen by the artist to adorn his subject.