Jacqueline Bishop
The Market Woman’s Story
digital print on commercial porcelain
8.75 x 12.25 x 1″ (each)
set of 15 plates

On one hand, the market woman/huckster is the most ubiquitous figure to emerge from plantation Jamaica. Yet, as pervasive as the figure of the market woman is in Jamaican and Caribbean art and visual culture, she remains critically overlooked.

In this set of fifteen dishes, I am both paying homage to the market woman – centering her importance to Caribbean society from the period of slavery onwards – placing her within a critical context. In particular, I place the market woman within a long tradition of female labor depicted in diverse imagery that I have sourced online, including early Jamaican postcards, paintings of enslaved women from Brazil, the colonial paintings of the Italian Agostino Brunias, and present-day photographs, which I collage alongside floral and abolitionist imagery.

I work in ceramics because all the women around me as I grew up – my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother – cherished ceramic dinner plates. These were centerpieces kept in one of their most important acquisitions, a specially made mahogany cabinet. To fabricate the plates, it is important that I am working with Emma Price, a British ceramicist based in Stoke-on-Trent in the former Spode factories. In the realization of the series, that connection imbues them with a meaning that shows the long and enduring relationship between England and Jamaica.

My hope in doing this work is to give much respect to the market women of the Jamaican and larger Atlantic world who have fed, and continue to feed, nations. The market woman is the defining symbol of Jamaica and Caribbean societies.

Jacqueline Bishop

JACQUELINE BISHOP: The Market Woman’s Story Catalog with Video

August 23, 2022. Published by British Art Studies. Jacqueline Bishop explains her process and approach to her series of 15 plates depicting collages of Jamaican market women throughout history.

View The Market Women’s Story on British Art Studies.



2022 | Group Exhibition at Ferrin Contemporary | North Adams, MA

Our America/Whose America? Is a “call and response” exhibition between contemporary artists and historic ceramic objects.

View the exhibition page HERE  & View the historic collection HERE


b. 1971, Kingston, Jamaica
lives and works in New York, NY


Jacqueline Bishop is an accomplished writer, academic, and visual artist with exhibitions in Belgium, Morocco, Italy, Cape Verde, Niger, USA, and Jamaica. In addition to her role as Clinical Full Professor at New York University, Jacqueline Bishop was a 2020 Dora Maar/Brown Foundation Fellow in France; 2008-2009 Fulbright Fellow in Morocco; and 2009-2010 UNESCO/Fulbright Fellow in Paris. Bishop has received several awards, including the OCM Bocas Award for her book “The Gymnast & Other Position”, The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for short story writing, The Arthur Schomburg Award for Excellence in the Humanities from New York University, A James Michener Creative Writing Fellowship, as well as several awards from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Jacqueline’s recent ceramic work consists of brightly colored bone China plates used symbolically in Caribbean homes and explores how they hid the violent legacy of slavery and colonialism in the Atlantic world.


My work focuses on making visible the invisible, in making tangible the ephemeral, in speaking aloud the unspoken, and in voicing voicelessness. In so doing, I engage with such themes as pleasure, desire, sexuality, memory and exile (and their concomitant absence, loss, erasure and silence). My practice is interdisciplinary and increasingly trans-disciplinary. As someone who has lived longer outside of my birthplace of Jamaica, than I have lived on the island, I am acutely aware of what it means to be simultaneously an insider and an outsider. This ability to see the world from multiple psychological and territorial spaces has led to the development of a particular lens that allows me to view a given environment from a distance. Because I am also a fiction writer and poet as well as a visual artist, the text and narrative are significant parts of my artistic practice.