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Low Gallery’s new show, “Eternal Spring,” opened with an artists’ reception and live performance on January 17. The ongoing show features work from Portland-based photographer, Colin Manning; LA visual artist and psychic, Marcella Kroll; and San Diegan illustrator, Celeste Byers. As the first show of 2014 at Low, “Eternal Spring” was designed to convey a sense of rebirth and freshness for the new year, according to gallery curator Meegan Nolan.
“We Are Avatars”, a series of 12, double-exposed photos by Kroll merges portraits of the artist’s friends with images of the deities which Kroll, as a clairvoyant, believes her friends are channeling. Kroll started making the mashups for fun after a long-term retirement from professional arts. A full-time spiritual consultant, Kroll describes the human/divinity link as “like being on telephone lines,” citing an example of her friend from Thailand superimposed over an image of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of good fortune widely worshipped throughout Southeast Asia.
Some of the paintings and drawings from 21st-century flower child Celeste Byers also feature pantheistic imagery as a means of conveying the birth-death-rebirth cycle of “Eternal Spring.” The local artist, whose work has appeared most auspiciously on the cover of Lucky Peach magazine and as an illustration for The New York Times,” also incorporates vegetal and oceanic imagery in her work.
Keeping with the spiritual and supernatural theme, Colin Manning explains that his collages act like a mirror for life, helping him see the beauty there by way of metaphorically stepping back. The collages, many of which were made during the fall of 2013, came about as a reaction to his then-workspace.
“It was a 1940s grocery store that was uninhabited for a while,” he says. “I had ghost experiences there. When I was trying to sleep at night, it sounded like someone was rolling a big cart across the attic.”
Though not typically a “ghosts and the paranormal” type, Manning used the collages to sort out the experiences he was having at the time.
Celebrating the gradual lengthening of the days, “Eternal Spring” will remain on display at Low Gallery until February 9.