by Peter Frank via Huffington Post
Jacqueline Bishop practices a kind of unnatural naturalism, fantastical in its imagery even as it concentrates on the natural world. In fact, Bishop tends to be faithful to the rendition of actual animals – especially the fish and fowl that populate these meditations on aqua-ecology – while elaborating their surrounding conditions, including flora, weather, and water itself, in a surrealistic manner that effectively dramatizes their situation. Bishop comments pointedly on ecological conditions, but what she stresses is the sensation of nature itself and the delicate yet vital role and presence within it of its sentient creatures. There is thus a stylistic, and thus cognitive, contrast between animals and the rest of nature in Bishop’s paintings, a knowing mannerism that harks back both to folk practices in western culture and to non-western traditions such as Rajput and Ukiyo-e. Her drawings, usually realized on newsprint collage, seem somewhat cruder, but ultimately reveal just as knowing a mind and hand. The works on paper pretend to be the notations of a keen but artistically naïve naturalist, enchanted by forests and lakes and rodents and birds alike. The only thing that proves unconvincing is the air of unsophistication. Otherwise, Bishop, with her masterful form and technique, succeeds in inebriating us artfully with nature, and naturally with art.
View Jacqueline Bishop’s exhibition, Against the Tide, here.