Volume 1: Number 1
Bishop’s mosaic of fragmented narratives is as original as it is insightful …
Hello friends and supporters!
This is the beginning of what I hope will be a bi-annual newsletter where I share some of the latest events and goings on from what I am calling “the workshop of Jacqueline Bishop.”
The last couple months have been hectic! My latest book, The Gymnast and other Positions, was awarded the 2016 Bocas prize for Caribbean Literature, non-fiction category. The OCM Bocas Award is a major literature award.
My work as well has been showcased in two exhibitions: A series of photographs used in a video format entitled Bodies of Water was part of the Digital exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica. The Female Sexual Desires Project that I have been working on for the past three years was shown at the Meyerhoff Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland.
During this period, I also oversaw the Dialogues in the African Diaspora Project funded by the United States State Department and administered by the American Association of Museums, through their Museums Connect program. This project put students from Nonsuch, Jamaica in conversation with students from Harlem, United States, around an art and history project.
I finish this first newsletter with recent interviews, reviews, and other publication around my work.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the newsletter as I think of what to tweak and fix in future editions.
Bocas Prize, Non–fiction
Modern, spontaneous and formally innovative, it blurs the boundaries between the real and the imagined…
The Gymnast and Other Positions by NYC-based Jamaican Jacqueline Bishop is a hybrid collection of essays, stories, and interviews. “In a category where autobiographies abound,” write the judges, “Bishop’s mosaic of fragmented narratives is as original as it is insightful. Modern, spontaneous and formally innovative, it blurs the boundaries between the real and the imagined in a journey of self-discovery through the arts of the imagination in the Caribbean and elsewhere. The reader’s pleasure is in negotiating the surprising detours and revealing digressions that The Gymnast invites us to follow.”
The Female Sexual Desires Project
This current body of work explores issues of sexuality and desire in relationship to female bodies.
A solo exhibition of my thesis work was shown at the Meyerhoff Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. I have been working on The Female Sexual Desires Project for the past three years. This body of work explores issues of sexuality and desire in relationship to female bodies. In this work I am seeking to make invisible female sexual desires more visible and give agency to bodies that have been thought of as dead or damaged sites of contention. My hope is to give voice to what has been a voiceless, yet integral, component of what it means to be female and sexual; all while tackling misogynistic and racist ideas that were exposed as the project materialized.
“DIGITAL” — National Gallery of Jamaica
The work consists of a series of digital photographs used in a video format.
My work was also part of the first ever Digital exhibition held at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Digital, as the title suggests, “is an exhibition of digital art … based on a call for submissions, which was, for the first time in the National Gallery’s history, extended to the wider Caribbean and its diaspora.”
The selected work Bodies of Water is dedicated to my beloved grandmother who I lost close to three years ago. As a child living on the island of Jamaica I would spend my summer holidays in the tiny district of Nonsuch hidden in the folds of the Portland mountains. I would play a game of laying on the grass with my relatives and trying to decipher the shapes we could see in the clouds. I decided to return to this ‘game’ but this time referencing the many forms that water and ultimately matter may take. To particularize this ‘photograph’ I went back to Nonsuch and recorded ambient sounds of the district as well as my young cousins singing childhood songs. The work consists of a series of digital photographs used in a video format.
Dialogues In The African Diaspora
American and Jamaican middle schoolers collected and preserved their community’s history…
Dialogues in the African Diaspora investigated the commonalties and differences in two African-Diasporic communities. In this project middle school students recovered and preserved the history associated with the rural community of Nonsuch in Portland, on the island of Jamaica, and the urban community of San Juan Hills in Manhattan, New York. The students of the Nonsuch School in Jamaica and the Kipp:Starr Charter School in Manhattan made compelling works of art from the history recovered and held an exhibition in their respective communities and countries. The students travelled between both countries. You can find out more about the Dialogues project at:
This was project funded by the United States State Department and administered by the American Association of Museums, through their Museums Connect program. Project partners included The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diasporic Institute in Manhattan; National Museum Jamaica; and the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica.
Reviews, Interviews, Profiles …
“Love How She Flex: The Creative Agility of Artist and Writer Jacqueline Bishop.”
“United States Embassy Niamey Art in Embassies Exhibition.” Catalogue. Art in Embassies Program. 2014-2017. Niamey, Niger. http://art.state.gov/filepassthru.ashx?af=files/exhibitions/Niamey+Publication+2016.pdf
“The Write Stuff: Jacqueline Bishop”. Radio interview with host Rachel Gilman. WNYU Radio. June 16th, 2016. https://soundcloud.com/wnyu/the-write-stuff-jacqueline-bishop
“Grants & Competitions, A Sourcebook for Artists and Designers.” Maryland Institute College of Art. 2016. Baltimore, Maryland. https://www.mica.edu/Documents/Career%20Services/grants/GrantsandCompetitionsSourcebook.pdf
‘“My Grandmother Was an Artist”: an interview with Jacqueline Bishop’. By Voichita Nachescu. Ducts. The webzine of personal stories. Issue 37: Summer 2016. Editor: Mary Cool. http://www.ducts.org/content/my-grandmother-was-an-artist-an-interview-with-jacqueline-bishop/
“Photographs from the ‘Facing Africa’ Series.” South Florida Poetry Journal. Volume 1, Number 1. Summer 2016. Editor: Lenny DellaRocca. http://www.southfloridapoetryjournal.com/photography.html
“Our Ancestors Who Art in Heaven: Jacqueline Bishop in Conversation with Funso Aiyejina.” By Funso Aiyejina. Wild River Review. May 1, 2016. Editors: Kimberly Nagy and Joy Stocke. http://www.wildriverreview.co/interview-our-ancestors-who-art-in-heaven-jacqueline-bishop-in-conversation-with-funso-aiyejina/
“Love How She Flex: The Creative Agility of Artist and Writer Jacqueline Bishop.” By Loretta Collins Klobah. Bookends Magazine. The Jamaica Observer. Kingston: Jamaica. May 1, 2016. Editor: Sharon Leach.
“Leaping between the lines.” Bishop speaks about female sexual desire and issues that move her art and writing. By Shereen Ali. The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper. Port of Spain: Trinidad. April 27, 2016.
“Digital.” National Gallery of Jamaica. April 24-July 4, 2016. Kingston, Jamaica.
“Telling We Own Story — Art from the Caribbean.” Liz’s Daly Culture. March 11, 2016. http://www.lizdalyculturedigest.com/2016/03/tellin-we-own-story-art-from-the-caribbean/
WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women. Nassau, The Bahamas. Volume 8. 2016. “Three quilts: Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother.” Essay: “Odes to the Mountains of Jamaica.” Editor: Lyn Sweeting.