Open through until May 1st at Monocle Man’s Café Gallery (and beyond!) is a selection of art by Danish photographer-artist Prins (Skylog) entitled Celebrations of Life.
I say “and beyond”, because as well as presenting Prins’s work within the two levels of the gallery building, the exhibition offers a number of larger format pieces to be appreciated through the rest of the Monocle Man parcel, allowing visitors to explore what is and engaging setting that might otherwise pass unnoticed when focused on the main gallery spaces.
This outdoor display commences in the courtyard before the gallery building and continues down the steps under the Welcome sign to where a slightly industrial-looking waterfront area sits with solid buildings facing a high wall across a further cobbled square in which sits an outdoor seating area and a vendor selling drinks and ice creams. One of the buildings is home to Lynx Luga’s gallery space – Lynx runs Monocle Man along with Kit Boyd – whilst through the the arch of a red-bricked gatehouse on the far side of the square, a final piece by Prins points the way to a cosy garden, home to a little summer house.
Celebrations of Life is a vibrant, bright selection of pieces primarily focused on landscapes and buildings. They are pictures in which colour is used to bring a sense of vitality to the fore, drawing the observer into each, with the use of angle and focus emphasising points of contact – delicate red flowers caught in a sea of sun-dried grass here, a stone figure apparently directly addressing the observer there; the graffiti painted across the hulk of a rusting car that makes it as much a part of the landscape as the blooms bursting forth before it or the over-saturation of light that speaks to bright summer days – or colder winter evenings -, and more.
Some of the pieces offer a departure from the rest. Business as Usual, for example, offers a poke at so-called Victorian values; Universal Whales touches on the surreal as a garden-laden whale swims through a pink sky dominated by a full Jupiter.
And then there is the dark beauty of Candles In A Deep Blue World, an utterly captivating piece seen at the top of this article. It stands in sharp contrast to the rest of Prins’s work shown here not just because it presents a – literally – much dark use of colour and tone, but because of the entire combination of colour, composition, angle and narrative make it an utterly magisterial piece in the manner it demands attention. For me, as much as I enjoyed the rest of Prins’s art, stands as the piece that made me particularly want to see more of his work and add his gallery space to my list of places to visit.
As noted, Celebrations of Life will remain in place through until Sunday May 1st, and offers visitors a rich selection of art and an opportunity to explore Monocle Man. Those wishing to extend their visit might also try the teleport station to reach places such as the sky galleries over head, and the exhibitions they may be hosting.
- Monocle Man Gallery (Flying Fortress, rated Adult)