FLORA BOREALIS — Elizabeth Barlow & Susan Manchester
ELIZABETH BARLOW & SUSAN MANCHESTER
September 23 - October 28
Andra Norris Gallery is overjoyed to present Flora Borealis, a dazzling collection of contemporary California art from Elizabeth Barlow and Susan Manchester, whose astounding paintings and drawings go beyond mere still-life, offering profound experiences of beauty and wonder.
For Elizabeth Barlow, painting the intricate details of a flower is a meditation that promotes a deep reverence for all living things. Her work is imbued with a radiant light that speaks to a spiritual connection accessible through the contemplation of nature.
Elizabeth Barlow's floral-inspired paintings are more than beautiful botanical specimens — they are opportunities for transformation and transcendence. Her work is firmly rooted in realism, yet it is created in the spirit of the great portraiture tradition, offering viewers a respite of serenity, beauty, and joy.
One important facet of the artist’s practice includes creating custom paintings that represent a person, a place, or a special occasion, through flowers. Elizabeth Barlow spends time getting to know these clients, to unveil their unique stories in an artwork that will be cherished over a lifetime. We are grateful to have a selection of newly commissioned paintings included in the exhibition.
Susan Manchester is captivated by beauty and strangeness, and she creates finely detailed drawings with graphite and conte crayon depicting the mysteries of nature.
Always alert to the gentle bend of a flower or the intricate delicacy and power of a feathered wing, Manchester searches for a felt “presence” in her environment. This can be manifested in the way the afternoon light animates a leaf, a petal, or an insect. She searches for the poetry of a moment. A lively “stillness” within the distractions of a highly active world.
For Manchester, a range of experiences, beginning with childhood museum classes, imparted to her an openness to experimentation, which serves her as an artist. Her concentrated studies of drawing and printmaking with Maestro Giorgio Morandi in Florence, Italy, provided her with a practical skill set and further inspiration.
Susan Manchester has a strong affinity for Renaissance drawing, having studied master drawings for a year at the Uffizi Gallery Library of Prints and Drawings in Florence, Italy. There, drawings that were complete without being “finished” deeply resonated with her. The color of the page, ink, metal, or pencil was sufficient in and of itself. In an “unfinished” state, there was room in the equation for her as the observer. Manchester’s contemporary drawings reflect this philosophy so that observers of her work will find themselves embarking on a journey all their own.
For more information, please contact Andra Norris
ANDRA NORRIS GALLERY
311 Lorton Ave
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA