Melina Bishop is a conceptual sculptor who works predominantly with fiber. She has shown independently with Vignettes at Generations (Seattle,WA) and her work has been included in group exhibitions at Praxis Fiber Gallery (Cleveland, OH), Soil Gallery (Seattle, WA), The Hoffman Gallery, Surplus Space, Supermaker and galleryHOMELAND (Portland, OR). She was a 2016 resident artist at the Icelandic Textile Center (Blönduós, IS) and a member of the studio collective Neighbors at the Yale Union (Portland, OR) from 2015 to 2019. She graduated from Oregon College of Art and Craft with a BFA in Fibers in 2015 and is currently earning her MFA in Visual Art at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia.
As I move through the world I imagine myself a malleable sponge, constantly absorbing and then expelling. I recognize myself as a collection of interwoven parts and pieces, an individual with agency but also a component part of larger systems, communities and histories that reach beyond the limits of my experience.
My sculptural practice is a means by which I take that which is intimate and mental and translate it into something universal and physical. Using material language and personal symbology I create manifestations of poetic narratives, attempting to make sense of the human experience in the context of the day-to-day.
Because all human experience is mediated through the body, implying the body in subject matter and material choices is central to my work. You can see hints of fleshy bellies, translucent skins, stringy hair and malleable organs. Simultaneously I strive to activate the body through tactility, accessible scale, and recognizable forms that imply everyday function: garments, pillows, sponges, and brushes.
The work reflects a desire to control and aestheticize but acknowledges the futility of subjugating the messier, more animalistic aspects of being human. Elements of formalism and abstraction, a limited color palette and evidence of a compulsion to create order are offset by a certain imperfect and visceral quality.