Jacqueline Bishop: Songs for the Earth
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
August 4 – December 20, 2015
Jacqueline Bishop explores the psychological connections between humans and nonhumans in a range of media. Her work has been influenced by more than two decades of traveling the forests of the Amazon, experiencing Hurricane Katrina, and documenting the BP oil spill. Bishop’s surreal landscapes address such topics as climate politics, species extinction, and the impact of overpopulation. In these imagined environments, birds symbolize the human soul, are messengers of life and death and call out for careful consideration for the complex connection between organisms and the earth.
Bishop’s early work was influenced by the life and philosophy of slain Brazilian rubber tapper Chico Mendes who inspired her book Em Memoria Chico Mendes: A Tribute on the Ten-Year Anniversary of His Death published by Lavender Inkin 1998. Her related work, a 1993 color serigraph entitled Samauma, represents the last tree standing in Brazil after a forest fire. Many Brazilians and scientists view this tree as the most beautiful in Brazil.
The four small bird portraits from her original 750 bird, 60-foot wall installation titled Terra, (1986-2004) represents birds that are extinct, endangered and rare. Terra was inspired by the first bird list recorded by eighteenth century Swedish biologist Carolus Linneaus’ Systema Naturae. Eachbird is framed in garbage collected from around the world.
Other works in the collection, including Sonatina, Choice Flower, and Dark Organism #100 reflect the complex and intertwining relationship of flora, fauna, and humans in their complicated design. Bishop says, “Sonatina presents the idea that culture comes from the landscape evolving from natural and manmade alterations. The watercolors on collage are made with Mississippi River water, literally using the landscape to address landscape issues.”
Some of the artwork in the exhibition is a gift of Joe and Barb Zanatta, who as Zanatta Editions, publishes prints by the artist. Additional materials will help the visitor understand Bishop’s creative process.
Bishop studied art and philosophy at the University of Kansas. She received her BA in painting from the University of New Orleans and MFA in painting from Tulane University. She has exhibited or lectured in Europe, Asia, North and South America. She is a grant recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and Joan Mitchell Foundation.
For more information, please visit the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art website here.