When talking about Bishop’s body of work one cannot but underline, once again, how she succeeds in leading viewers through a synesthetic experience, on a journey of ‘Caribbean aesthetics’. — Michela Calderaro
This newsletter is full of bittersweet moments. Despite all that I have accomplished for the past few months and maybe motivating it all is the sadness that one of the artists that I had been working with for some time, Sane Mae Dunkley, passed away last December. She was a master mat-maker Sane Mae Dunkley, and she died right at the moment when her hand-made mats were becoming known both in and outside of Jamaica. She also died before the extensive interview I had planned for her at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, that she was to visit.
I was in Jamaica when Dunkley died, and had seen her days before she passed, and had spoken to her only hours before her death. Her sudden and unexpected passing has left me reeling. I ended up writing a tribute for her published in the Jamaica Observer, “Master Jamaican Mat-Maker Sane Mae Dunkley Wove Together the Story of the Jamaican People in Her Works.” http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/social/master-jamaican-mat-maker-sane-mae-dunkley_123438?profile=1338 and have continued on with my work like I know she would want me to. But my world is a smaller sadder place now for her not being in it.
As always, I look forward to any thoughts you might have.
Warmest of regards,
I had the wonderful opportunity of having a solo show in Brooklyn at the SRO Gallery. Titled “By The Rivers of Babylon” the exhibition brought together three bodies of work: 8×10 collaged paintings that examine the brutally violent unrest leading up to the extradition to the United States from Jamaica of a well-known alleged drug baron and community leader, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke; smaller 5×7 lens-shaped paintings, depicting small shops, shacks and other touristic views of the island of Jamaica; and finally, much larger text-based drip paintings from my “Babylon and Zion” series of paintings. The exhibition garnered a lovely write up in Caribbean Life, and the catalogue features essays written by Italian critic Michela Calderaro and well-known New York based artist Margaret Evangeline.
The Arts-in-Embassies program asked to extend their loan on my “Homage 3” which had been for three years in the United States Embassy in Niger, and now is in the newly opened United States Embassy in Lima, Peru.
Finally, during this time, I participated in the exhibition “Bellatrix II” held in Raw Space, New York showcasing two videos from my Female Sexual Desires Project.
I was an Invited Visitor and Guest Critic at ART OMI, Sculpture Garden and Artist Residency, in Ghent, New York. I was given a tour of the Sculpture Garden and got to see, among several distinguished pieces of work, the monumental piece, G.O.A.T. by Nari Ward.
The ART OMI Residency is one of the most selective residencies for visual artists and it brings together artists from around the world providing a studio, room and board. As a visitor and critic, I had the chance to meet artists from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Palestine, the United States, and hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. I also got the chance to share my work and practice with all the artists in residence in a lecture at the conclusion of my one-on-one meetings.
One day while browsing the Internet I was surprised to see that there was a new Wikipedia page on Jacqueline Bishop. I clicked on thinking that this Wikipedia page would be on some other Jacqueline Bishop, but sure enough someone had made and was steadily adding to a Wikipedia page on yours truly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacqueline_Bishop
In time, I was flabbergasted to find out that none other than the well-known publisher in the United Kingdom, Margaret Busby had made this Wikipedia page, and the page was researched to perfection and placed my work in context. Thank you Margaret Busby for doing this!
Talks, Prizes & Publications
I had the wonderful opportunity of being a Guest Speaker at The University of Colorado in Boulder Creative Writing Reading Series this past spring.
My short story collection was one of five finalists for the Kimbilio National Fiction Prize where judge Edwidge Danticat called them “… A very vibrant collection of stories.”
SX Salon’s most recent issue features two of my paintings: “Landscape 1”; “Birds 1” and two of my poems: “Citron”; “New World Finches”. You can find these works here: http://smallaxe.net/sxsalon/poetry-prose/poems-jacqueline-bishop
A copy of the catalogue “In Situ Visiones del paisaje en las Grandes Antillas” which showcases my participation in the exhibition at Museo De Arte Dr. Pio Lopez Martinez. Universidad de Puerto Rico En Cayey, Puerto Rico was recently published.
This past January I was a Guest Speaker at the “Uncommon Artists Lecture” at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City which this time around focused on New Research on Self-Taught Art of the Caribbean. I spoke on the work of painter Kemel Rankine while former Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica Dr. Veerle Poupeye paid tribute to the work of mat-maker Sane Mae Dunkley. Image below (c) Veerle Poupeye.
In addition, under my small outfit, Antillean, I took the work of three Jamaican artists (Sane Mae Dunkley, Eddie Harris, and Kemel Rankine) to the Outsider Art Fair in New York City, and we got some rave reviews and even made the cover of Art News!
While you’re at it, take some time to browse through some of my most recent profiles and interviews.
Jacqueline Bishop. “Artists Need to get their Work Seen, Says Elizabeth Smith.” The Huffington Post. January 10th, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/artists-need-to-get-their-work-seen-says-elizabeth_us_5a56d9d1e4b0d1a645f96bfc
Jacqueline Bishop. “Deborah Cullen-Morales Makes a Point of Inviting the Community into the Gallery.” The Huffington Post. December 15th, 2017. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/deborah-cullen-morales-makes-a-point-of-inviting-the_us_5a341dabe4b02bd1c8c60668
Jacqueline Bishop. “Art, for Ume Hussain, is Introspective and a Search for Answers.” The Huffington Post. October 29th, 2017.https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/art-for-ume-hussain-is-introspective-and-a-search_us_59f5f034e4b06acda25f4adf
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. May 27th& June 3rd2018. Part I & Part II. Interview: “My Fascination Is with A Future That Could Be: An Interview with Poet Loretta Collins Klobah.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. May 20th2018. Interview: “Rosamond S King explodes words on a page.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. May 13th2018. Interview: “The Poem is a space of inquiry for Danielle Legros Georges.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. May 6th2018. Interview: “One Caribbean: An Interview with Lasana M. Sekou.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. April15th2018. Interview: “In Pamela Mordecai’s Work Issues of Belonging and Identity Emerge.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. April 1 & 8th2018. Interview: “Novelist Jean D’Costa Believes in Feeding the Cultural Imagination.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. March 25th, 2018. Interview: “Christine Craig Makes the Case for Inclusiveness.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. March 18th, 2018. Interview: “Erna Brodber Talks About Knitting & Crafting the Story of the Jamaican People.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. March 11th, 2018. Interview: “Velma Pollard’s tribute poems — intertextual dialogue between poets.”
Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. March 4th, 2018. Interview: “The Muse of Memory is the Muse of Poetry: An Interview with Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison.”
Until next time!