if you should forget me for a while

Sienna Patti Contemporary | Lenox, MA June 27 - August 25, 2024 Featuring Jacqueline Bishop

JUNE 27 through AUGUST 25, 2024

Featuring work by Jacqueline Bishop, Melanie Bilenker, Venetia Dale, & Lauren Kalman



Sienna Patti Contemporary’s summer exhibition features the work of four female artists whose work is deeply personal yet universally relatable. How will we be remembered? Will the memories be truthful? What role do we play in shaping that truth?

Melanie Bilenker‘s detailed work starts with the artist photographing herself at home and then painstakingly rendering it using her hair as the line. Hairwork, an intimate art form, was commonly used to commemorate a loved one, especially during Victorian times. Bilenker gives it a modern twist, immortalizing herself, or at least the impression of herself—a hand lightly touching a mirror. The artist is there, just out of sight. She has made lasting a single short moment. 

Jacqueline Bishop, whose interdisciplinary practice is research-based, is acutely aware of being both an insider and an outsider, having lived longer outside her birthplace of Jamaica than on the island itself. This perspective allows her to view an environment from a distance. Bishop’s series of porcelain plates, Fauna, are showcased in this exhibition alongside a tea set titled The Keeper of All The Secrets, featuring the well-known Caribbean image of the Market Woman. Through collage and porcelain, Bishop weaves together histories of the British Empire, Colonialism, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Venetia Dale also draws from history, collecting recent and antique unfinished embroideries and piecing them together to create tapestries that tell a new story. By stitching together unfinished moments of care and attention, the final embroideries link the labor of these anonymous creators at their points of pause. “I am a mother and the keeper of time in my family,” writes Venetia Dale. “By making space in my work to celebrate a pause or a fleeting gesture of care, these sculptural works become a monument to my labor as well as to the labor of those who came before me.”

In Lauren Kalman‘s recent series To Hold, plaster castings of the artist’s body are made and imprinted onto a blown glass vessel. With multiple assistants manipulating body parts, the plaster castings function like puppets, acting as a proxy for the body pressed against the molten glass. The carefully controlled form of the blown glass vessel is lost with the imprint of the body, leaving both a permanent distortion of the original form and a lasting imprint of the absent body. The To Have and To Hold series is made of wheel-thrown ceramic vessels distorted by holding them against the artist’s actual body – no casting needed. The imprint implies she was once there, the heavy vessel cradled in her arms.


Jacqueline Bishop
Fauna (Edition of 3)
digital print on porcelain, gold lustre
various dimensions

Jacqueline Bishop
The Keeper of All The Secrets (Edition of 3)
digital print on porcelain, gold lustre