Jacqueline Bishop (aka Jacqueline K. Bishop)
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, So Far From Home
28 1/2 x 24 x 1 in. (72 x 61 x 3 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil and fabric flower on cotton dress
Gift of the artist and Arthur Roger Gallery
© Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Artist Jacqueline Bishop is an “artist activist”; the major concerns reflected in her work are mankind’s impact on the natural environment, particularly that around her long- time home of New Orleans, Louisiana. This painting is a part of a recent series of works that she has executed on vintage children’s dresses. There is a natural connection for her between the damage that modern technologies inflict upon the environment, and the population that the damage threatens most— future generations.
In this small gown her signature imagery of flora (in this case roses) is layered with an emaciated female figure, and three small, vulnerable woodland creatures, rabbits and a beaver, at the hem. The powerful red of the roses evokes equally powerful forces—fire and danger—as the figure floats helplessly on its tide. The title elaborates these feelings—"Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" is a Negro Spiritual dating from the times of slavery, evoking the suffering of those who are displaced from their ancient and ancestral homes. The artist suggests that displacement from our natural “home” is the ultimate fate of mankind if the world’s natural balance is destroyed.