Rubus Discolor Project
1738 N. Colfax Street
Portland, Ore. 97217
June 15: 5 - 8pm (opening!)
June 20: 5 - 8pm
June 23: 1 - 4pm
Rubus Discolor Project* is pleased to present Fruiting Bodies, a new exhibition of site specific work by Melina S. A. Bishop, Leslie M. Hickey, and Brittany V. Wilder.
We lived in our house for ten years, and not once did we see the blinds go up at the place next door. We had an excellent view from our living room windows. Year after year we watched the blackberries grow and slowly overtake everything. As the roof valleys filled with debris and sprouted ferns, we wondered if it still kept the water out. During the warmer months, I’d ask our neighbor, Kurt, if I could come over to his yard and trim the brambles in order to preserve the fence between our properties. He said yes each time, and eventually after a few seasons, he told me that I didn’t need to ask anymore. He called me a good neighbor.
We lived in our house for five years before I talked to Kurt. Once, with unremitting eye contact, he told me that he was descended from Cossacks, that his grandfather built his two neighboring houses, and his great uncle, our house. During a renovation I found an old book,Tolstoy, in our attic, printed more than a hundred years ago in Russian. I brought it over to show him, and he enjoyed looking at it, turning it over; he held his family’s history close, and here was evidence of that history. I asked if he had any old photographs of our house and he said he thought he did, and he would make sure to look for them in April; it was October, and in the same breath he told me about how he was going to China soon to open up a factory, but first he had to get around the mafia, and the other malignant forces conspiring against him. By this point, he rarely left his house, and, when he did, I rarely saw him in shoes. If he answered the door, we would usually talk through the closed screen. During those porch visits, he always seemed to be holding a small cup of coffee and a hand rolled cigarette. In the summer months, jazz would drift over our yards, and I felt grateful that I had a neighbor with such good taste in music.
After ten years, I doubt that Kurt still thinks of me as a good neighbor. In a few months, it will be a year since we bought the house next door at a foreclosure auction. Instead of two houses to compose his kingdom, to ramble through his history, he is down to one. Now, the blackberries and ivy are almost reaching his back porch. Someday soon I’ll have to knock on his door and talk to him about cutting through the brush so we can build a new fence to keep the blackberries at bay.
Melina S. A. 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 graduated from Oregon College of Art and Craft with a BFA in Fibers in 2015, and was a 2016 resident artist at the Icelandic Textile Center (Blönduós, IS). She is currently working in Portland, OR as part of the studio collective Neighbors at Yale Union and will begin an MFA in sculpture this fall at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC.
Leslie M. Hickey is a visual artist who primarily works with photography. She earned BA degrees in Studio Art and English from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Recent solo exhibitions include The Future Has an Ancient Heart (Edel Extra, Nuremberg, Germany, 2018) and Beyond the Sea (Jules Maidoff Gallery at Studio Arts College International, Florence, Italy, 2014). Group exhibitions include Rumors (Wolff Gallery, Portland, OR, 2019), Let’s try listening again (A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2019), Some Other Place (Palazzo dei Cartelloni Gallery, SACI, Florence, Italy, 2018), and We’re Always Touching By Underground Wires (Pushdot, Portland, OR, 2018). In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship from The Civita Institute in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, and received a Professional Development Grant through the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). In the same year she also received a RACC Project Grant (jointly awarded with Small Talk Collective). In 2018 she received an Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant. She is a founding member of SCALENO, an international photographic collective, and Small Talk Collective. Her images can be found in print in Issue 5 of Big Big Wednesday. Additionally she is the proprietor of a letterpress, Hoarfrost Press.
Brittany V. Wilder is a visual artist who works primarily with photography. She also spends a lot of her time in her studio, playing around with salt, glue, paper, and flowers. Themes emerging from her most recent works include grief, desire, and identity; her work more broadly deals with the nature of memory, perception, and narrative. Text-based works, self-portraiture, and personal documentation all play a large role in her art practice. She is currently a member of the studio collective Neighbors at Yale Union in SE Portland. She received a BFA from the Oregon College of Art and Craft (RIP) in 2013. Her series Bath of Light is currently held in the Blue Sky Photography viewing drawers, and next month she is part of a two-person show, Make/Shift at Three Seeds Gallery in Chicago. In 2018 she was chosen as a top 200 finalist for Photolucida’s Critical Mass. Recent exhibitions include Emergence (Portland, OR),Absence/Presence (Roseburg, OR), and Self Similar (Portland, OR).
*a continuation of last year's Living Room Project
We hope to see you there!