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Patrica Heal
Finding Peabrook

September 17 -
October 26, 2014

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, Anthony Cotsifas, 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.


The 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.


Heal's unique 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.


Patricia 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