JULIA ROSE SUTHERLAND


Npuinu ên·pu·i·nu- "Corpse"2019

Npuinu -ên·pu·i·nu- "Corpse" (Mi'kmaq), is a full-body cast made internally of refined cooked sugar that is transformed into hard rock candy. Sugar is an essential and controversial substance within the exploration into trauma and sublimation within indigenous communities because it is directly linked to the framework of colonial/ post-colonial impact. It’s the most addictive substance in the world, making the capitalistic world go round, grasping one from the taste, chemical reactions and holding you with addiction. Sugar is a staple resource in the history of the slave trade and represents the loss of traditional lifestyles and spirituality, links to the direct commodification of the human body and taking over territory for resources.

This Sugar body sculpture explores the trauma and social issues rooted in genocide, racism, rape culture and spiritual restrictions brought on through the colonization of North America. Tied with a cannibalistic and antagonistic material this work is meant to create an eerie and thought-provoking area of contemplation for the viewer.

To reflect on the loss of traditional lifestyles, I choose sugar as a medium for this artwork. Firstly, sugar is a staple resource in the history of the slave trade and is directly linked to the commodification of the human body and taking over territory for resources. Secondly, it is the most addictive substance in the world, which allows capitalism to keep on devouring society in a cannibalistic way.