Mr Monkey sees Forecast for Sunny Skies at the Royal Exchange Mezzanine Gallery, 18th April
Arriving at the Royal Exchange to see 5 @ 50 Mr Monkey scampered upstairs to the Royal Exchange Mezzanine to see Forecast for Sunny Skies. He'd actually been expecting to see an exhibition called Five on the Mezzanine. However, as Forecast for Sunny Skies was on the Mezzanine and featured the work of five women, he quickly decided that someone had changed the name of the exhibition without telling him.
The exhibition is a selection of work from the final degree shows of five artists from the Manchester School of Art.
Jessica Joyce's work comments on changes in society and the erosion of the values she was brought up with or acquired from a single sex education. Mr Monkey's favourite piece was To Do List, a vast collection of satirical shopping lists.
At first Mr Monkey thought that Melissa Barker's pieces were simple landscape photography. Looking closely he realised that they were complex, multilayered, collages with repeated appearances of the same feature. Sadly lacking titles, they are intended to explore man's desire to control nature and natures refusal to be controlled.
Anna Dunkley is fascinated by human appearance, and uses repeated layers of paint to create paintings in three dimensions. She believes an artist can't portray a subject's true qualities without some kind of prior relationship, so she only paints people she knows. Mr Monkey wondered if that would be a little limiting in the long term.
Next Mr Monkey looked at Emma Wilson's paintings. These are created quickly, using a limited pallet, which results in a raw and apparently unfinished work into which the viewer can read their own meaning. Learning this, Mr Monkey immediately attempted to find bananas in all her paintings.
Laura Thompson's work tends to be topical. The pieces selected for this exhibition show her outrage at the closure of libraries across the UK.
Mr Monkey really liked The Library. He carefully read the instructions, selected an envelope from a wall of envelopes marked with the names of authors, had Mr Rik write some reasons for selecting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the card inside, then put the envelope and card into the decorative post box. It's possible he was impressed because people don't often let him write on an exhibition as well as about it.
Forecast for Sunny Skies runs until May 14th 2011.