The Parthenon and Centennial Park Conservancy are proud to present Flood Lines by Tasha Lewis in the East Gallery of the Parthenon.
A student of art and literature, sculptor Tasha Lewis borrows from ancient artifacts to evoke contemporary narratives about women. In Flood Lines she updates classical forms such as vessels and figures featuring hand embroidered beads, wire, and hand dyed fabric. Over 35 sculptures of exquisite craftsmanship are carefully arranged within the gallery to create an immersive space that is both formal and organic. Here life-sized human heads, legs, and torsos wend their way among Alabastron and Lekythos vessels to create what Lewis calls a “minimalist bath house.”
“I am fascinated by visual languages established through material techniques,” says Flood Lines’ artist, Tasha Lewis. “Like Joyce in his novel Ulysses, I reference Greek art history not as a narrative template, but as a tool reflecting aspects of contemporary society. For example, we continue to live in a patriarchal system that historically imposed limitations upon women. This condition is expressed in my work through suggestions of the corrosive effects of time and tide on ancient forms. . . the flood lines of water and weather mark time, celebrate history, and acknowledge the toll of it all.”
Flood Lines coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 19th US Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. As Tennessee suffragists were instrumental to the ratification of this law, Lewis sees Flood Lines as an homage to these women.
“My figures embody an independence not unlike the Tennessee suffragists of 100 years ago who fought for the voting rights of American women. Their courage helped to make democracy available to all citizens. My work employs sewing, embroidery, and beadwork, crafts that were among the housework that anti-suffragists worried women would abandon if they got the vote. As ancient Greece is the birthplace of democracy, the Greek forms in my pieces evoke a connection between the ancient and modern, hopefully celebrating and reinventing the classical."
We are pleased to announce that this project has been awarded grant funding by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Tennessee.
Check out these behind the scenes videos of Tasha Lewis creating pieces for her exhibit, Flood Lines.