Welcoming Julia Rose Sutherland to the Grange location. Sutherland is a Mi'kmaq (Metepenagiag Nation) / settler artist and educator (Assistant Professor at OCADU) based out of Tkaronto (Toronto, Canada). Sutherland's interdisciplinary art practice employs photography, sculpture, textiles, and performance. She earned her MFA at the University at Buffalo, and BFA in Craft and New Media at the Alberta University of the Arts (2013). She has exhibited at the Bemis Center of Contemporary Art, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, K Art Gallery, WAAP Gallery, and 59 Rivoli Gallery in Paris, France. Sutherland is a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Creating Knowing Sharing award and the AFA Indigenous Individual Project grant.
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"Corpse", 2021, refined sugar, dimensions variable. These sugar-casted ambered bodies reflect the relationship between BIPOC people, sex work, fetishization, and community care. By creating edible sugar casts from specifically BIPOC women and trans folk, the work references the exotification of diverse people to fulfill colonial appetites, reducing human identity to an object of desire. This body of work addresses loss but at the same time showcases care, ancestry and a taking back of both the body and sexual agency - taking back our bodies - no shame, just perfection in each pose. These bodies are composed of many accumulated sugar layers that speak to several familial, ancestral, and geological constitutions. Each corpse’s built-up sugar sheeting is inspired by geologic “hoodoos” (earth pyramids). These ancient, tall spires of rock protrude from the bottom of badlands and consist of sedimentary rock layers built-up over millennia. By aesthetically referencing this metamorphic process, the sculptures nod towards Indigenous People’s longstanding lineage and relationship to land; both built upon many earlier layers of human and environmental history preceding colonization. The corresponding neon piece spells out “Apatte'mat” which translates to, “win back a loss” In Mi’kmaq and aesthetically references red-light districts. The work expands on the notion of care and love, with the spilling out of red neon light that touches the gloss and curve of each body with a red glow, giving light to these spirits. Within this installation, the colour red can be misunderstood by colonial setter populations as something sinister and harmful. However, the colour red has many other meanings for Indigenous Peoples within the Mi’Kmaq medicine wheel such as the earth, the physical body, and birth/ rebirth. It touches on the balance of the world around us, referencing healing and community care.