ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Elevate at 21c presents temporary exhibitions of works by artists living and working in the communities surrounding each 21c Museum Hotel property. Elevate provides hotel guests with unique access to the work of notable regional artists while featuring their work in the context of 21c’s contemporary art space. To view these works, please stop by the front desk to arrange access to the vitrines on guest room floors.
On view from February – July 2021, Elevate at 21c Nashville presents works by artists Sibley Barlow, Nuveen Barwari, and Duncan McDaniel.
Skin Box, 2015
Paper, watercolor, thread
“The body defines the human experience, and we can never know life without its limitations. We reside within these objects like traveling homes, washing them, straining them, and living through time. Despite this inseparability, our experience of time is varied between the body and self. We are witness to a change that we are not entirely a part of, allowing us a multi-layered experience of time. Through this series of works on paper, I explore skin as a metaphor for the temporality of human experience.” – Sibley Barlow
60 Days, 2015
“60 Days is a performance documented through a series of photos. Once-daily, for sixty consecutive days, I cut hair from my head and applied it as facial hair. From soul patch to chinstrap, I ended with a shaved head.” – Sibley Barlow
Sibley Barlow explores ideas surrounding time, identity, labor, and repetition, particularly as they relate to the body, as well as intersections between civilizations and the natural environment. Their work privileges process and seeks to consolidate performance with the object. She works across mediums and crafts, grouping work as widely varied individual projects. He works primarily in painting, drawing, performance, and installation. Barlow was born in Atlanta, Georgia and received her BFA from Ball State University.
Gul Naxsh, 2020
Rug (from the Kokoye family in Nashville, TN), deconstructed Kurdish Dress, on found panel
“Borders were drawn by the French and British in 1919 with no regard to the ethnic communities of West Asia, the region we call the Middle East. Kurdistan is a tapestry cut into four different regions currently occupied by Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The occupation and division of Kurdistan led to genocide, ethnic cleansing, and state-sanctioned violence. It resulted in the diaspora of about two million Kurds. My parents are among the two million who have been displaced and removed from the homeland and transplanted into various host lands all over the world.
Often referencing Kurdish history, my work explores the fictive and nonfictive space between the homeland and the host land. A space that can be translated through repurposed mixed-media that draws connections to U.S commodity culture, the mise-en-scéne of bazaars, globalization, and colonial amnesia. I think of my work as collages within collages and my practice often extends beyond the studio. Involvement and interaction with the audience plays an important role that creates tentacles that reside in those external areas.” – Nuveen Barwari
Nuveen Barwari is a Kurdish American multidisciplinary artist. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Studio Art from Tennessee State University in 2019 and is a 2022 MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her expansive practice includes installations, the deconstruction of materials into performances, co-hosting a podcast, collecting and repurposing artifacts from a larger community such as photos, rugs, fabrics, and Kurdish dresses, and an online shop that supplies apparel and art internationally.
Across the Clouds, 2018
Various metals, acrylic, and LED lighting
“A tin can or ‘lovers’ telephone is a centuries-old device using two tin cans attached to either end of a taut string or wire. This allows individuals to communicate over short distances using acoustic vibrations. I met my wife when she temporarily traveled to Nashville from England to install a light-based art exhibit. After eight weeks of an illuminated blissful romance, she sadly had to return to England. We spent months apart but maintained a relationship via video chat, talking for hours as if I was actually there. During the long periods of separation, I was so thankful to live in a world with the internet acting as a thread connecting us across continents. This sculpture is based on the experience of having a digital relationship with someone I could not occupy a physical space with but still managed to make a meaningful connection in spite of that fact.” – Duncan McDaniel
Duncan McDaniel is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice combines light, color, found objects, and traditional artmaking techniques to facilitate fine art in the commercial gallery setting as well as art in the public realm. Through these multiple techniques and venues, McDaniel incorporates art and design into an intrinsic experience of finding harmony and joy within each piece. Highlighting the connection between man and nature, the artist uses bright colors that reflect shapes and patterns that are nestled harmoniously in between the natural, manmade, and unseeable worlds. There is an overarching directness and simplicity of the work that speaks to viewers from all walks of life. After receiving an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006, he has embarked on a creative exploration of interpreting the world around him into visual art. McDaniel has exhibited work in public places and galleries nationally and his public art can be seen throughout the southeastern region, including a children’s hospital in Knoxville, a sculpture park in the Burlington area, and sculptural bike racks in the Nashville area.