Illustrating Joyce's Ulysses
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Where previous illustrators sought to map their own visual practice onto the words and images of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the artist Tasha Lewis allowed the text to guide her. Instead of laboring to distill entire chapters into a single image, Lewis responded to a single word, phrase or idea from each page. She designed every chapter to have a distinct mode of image-creation which reflects that section’s themes, compelling critical responses, or her own interpretations of Joyce’s experimentations. Building off one another, every chapter suite evokes a distinct feeling similar to that of reading the text. All of the images for this project were created during a two month residency in Eastport Maine at the StudioWorks facility through the TIDES Institute and Art Museum. After completing the project in November 2015, Lewis began the task of finalizing and publishing it as a book. This edition is the third that she has created, and the new addition is that the text that most inspired her is present on the page right below each image. With this larger format, readers can appreciate both image and text together. While this book does not fully abridge Joyce’s epic novel, it does give a new point of entry for Joyce fans and new readers alike.
Tasha Lewis is a sculptor from Indianapolis, Indiana, currently living in Jersey City, New Jersey. She graduated in 2012 from Swarthmore College with a dual degree in English Literature and Studio Arts. In her practice outside of Joyce, she uses textiles as the hand-sewn skins of life-sized human and animal sculptures. Lewis works predominantly with photographic prints on fabric using the cyanotype process, which she often dyes or tones, or, more recently, with found fabric from used garments. The stitches that permeate her work are an essential meditative act that creates cohesion, marks time, traces her movement around the piece and draws the viewer’s eyes across it. She is a resident artist at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ.