Photograph by Dainesha Nugent-Palache
Tau Lewis (b. 1993) is a Jamaican-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario. A self-taught sculptor, Lewis combines natural and synthetic materials to create simulations of living things. She considers the history and symbolism of each material, exploring the political boundaries of nature, identity and authenticity. Her work is bodily and organic, with an explicit strangeness and subtle morbidity. Her current practice relies heavily on her surrounding environment; she constructs sculptural portraits using found objects, repurposed materials and live plants sourced from urban and rural landscapes. She connects these acts of repurposing and collecting with diasporic experience and black bodies. Her portraits are recuperative gestures that counter persistent tendencies to erase or peripheralize black artists and narratives within Canadian art and history.
Lewis has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Spring Break Art Fair in New York and New Museum, New York. She has received support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. Recent and forthcoming exhibition sites include: Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; COOPER COLE, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Oakville Galleries, Toronto, and Plug In ICA, Winnipeg.