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Visual and Dramatic Arts
Dean of Humanities

Willful Wondering by Patricia Bellan-Gillen

Thursday, January 12, 2017  - Friday, February 17, 2017

Gallery  Rice Media Center
Rice University - Entrance #8, University Blvd & Stockton Ave
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Rice University’s Visual and Dramatic Arts department is pleased to present Willful Wondering by Patricia Bellan-Gillen at the Rice Media Center Gallery.

"Willful Wondering" invites guests to explore a dreamland while being fully awake. The large-scale prints and drawings to be exhibited at the Media Center have such titles as, ‘Phantom Limbs’, ‘Blind Spots’ and “Wonderland/Mutation and Adaptation”. "Willful Wondering" takes the viewer on a journey through the mysterious, the warped, and the whimsical.

Patricia’s work manifests around symbolism, relationships, the environment and the fantastical. It invokes a world in which flowers are anthropomorphized, where a school of fish becomes the “separation of church and state”, and where blind spots are very visible.

“Patricia Bellan-Gillen plunges us into oral imaginaries in which we can defy or delight in the deluge. With a refined, often buoyant, playfulness, her drawings let us make our own choices in facing the quandaries of our existence. She places “great trust in the viewer,” allowing us to either puddle jump or plumb the depths of oceanic immensities. Her drawings probe the historical and contemporary conditions that shape our collective ethos. Sometimes the probing his a painful nerve or funny bone-or teases and tickles us to smile.” Painful Nerves and Funny Bones, by Susanne Slavick

The artist herself states, “Somewhere in my brain, personal narrative mixes with fairytales. Historical events intertwine with the imagined and a veil of nostalgia blurs the border between fact and fiction. Archetypal imagery moves about in the temporal lobe with cartoon characters and recent news flashes picked from the Internet join the sagas of black and white television. My drawings and mixed media works use these bits and pieces of visual history… the stones and bones of memory… to suggest a narrative and remix our stories. These disorderly notions are exploited and employed in an attempt to engage the viewer’s associative responses and to jar the forgotten memories and the senses of wonder and wondering that lay quietly below the surface.” Willful Wondering and Disorderly Notions, by Patricia Bellan-Gillen

"Willful Wondering" will be on view at the Rice Media Center Gallery from January 12, through February 17, 2017. The Rice Media Center Gallery is open to the public from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

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