The Robin Rice Gallery
is pleased to present a photographic exhibition by Patricia Heal. The opening
reception will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, from 5:30
to 8:30 pm. The show will run through October 26th, 2014.
In her ninth solo show at the
Robin Rice Gallery, veteran artist Patricia Heal documents her visual narrative
of their enchanted home
in upstate New York. Hidden within untouched forests lies Peabrook,
a babbling brook running
through the property. The classic architecture of the house is offset by
uniquely quirky interiors designed by the English-born Patricia and her husband,
which generate an otherworldly existence
within the estate. "Peabrook is my Neverland," Heal states, in reference to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. "It is a fictional place often described as a metaphor for
eternal childhood." Heal hopes
that, with just a visit to the gallery and little imagination, you, too, can see Peabrook.
"I really just wanted to work in film again, and this
project seemed the right one to do it with," says Heal, who lists Sarah Moon and André Kertesz as artistic inspirations. The whimsical subject
matter, including mythical creatures and extensive taxidermy, complete the
darkly magical and mysterious representation of Heal's
home that she strove to depict. Images such as "Peabrook",
depicting a woman with fairy wings perched peacefully over the brook,
demonstrate the muted color palette that permeated color images of the
collection. Her use of the now-extinct Polaroid film for her black and white
photographs, and the warm tone found in many of the other pieces of the
collection, contribute to the sense of antiquity and fantasy surrounding Peabrook. The small image sizes with large mattes,
meanwhile, maintain the intimate and classical quality of her images.
invitational image, "Willow", depicts a portrait of a hooded woman, her
downward gaze partially obstructed by the soft branches of a fern from the surrounding garden. The photograph and its subject matter
represent much of the imagery present in the entire collection, for female
figures and plant life are found throughout the exhibition. The warm-toned
image, along with several others, contains the streaked effect characteristic
of developed instant film, making for truly one-of-a-kind photography.
preferences in interior decoration can be seen in several of the exhibited
pieces, but is perhaps best exemplified in the photograph of the living room, a
positive image of a film negative entitled "Sitting
Room". Most notable in the room is the hanging rhinoceros head towering impressively
over two antique sitting chairs. The rhinoceros head is
an art piece made of
resin; Heal says that she does not condone hunting, and collects taxidermy as
homage to the animals. Taxidermy can found throughout her home, including a
raven standing alert upon one of the aforementioned chairs in her living room.
Her use of film allowed her to give the photograph, amongst others, an effect
similar to an infrared image, which was accomplished by taking positive images
of her film negatives.
Heal was born in England, where she studied art and theater. After receiving
her degree in photography, she moved to New York City. Currently, Heal works
for leading editorial and commercial clients, and shares a studio with her
husband, fellow photographer Anthony Cotsifas, and
their bulldog, Moses. She has received numerous awards, including the Society
of Publication Designers Award for Photography, the Communication Arts
Photography Award, a Nikon/PDN Award, the IPA Lucie Fine Art Award, and a Fuji
Film Promotion Award. In her previous show, Patricia focused on the wild ponies
of Dartmoor and their habitat. After it was shown in
Robin Rice Gallery, her show was then exhibited in England at Stone Theatre in
London and Bangwallop in Salcombe,
Devon. Finding Peabrook will be Patricia Heal's ninth solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery.
To view all of the images
exhibited, please direct yourself to www.robinricegallery.com