Artist bio

Julia Rose Sutherland is a Canada born artist of Mi'Kmaq Indigenous descent. She works interdisciplinary and utilizes mediums such as photography, sculpture, textiles and performance. Sutherland Completed her BFA in Craft and New Media with a speciality in Textiles at the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2013. Sutherland completed her MFA at the SUNY University at Buffalo with honours in Spring of 2019. She has shown and taken part in residencies internationally in Canada, USA, China and France. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Sutherland is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the trauma and social issues associated with her aboriginal roots as a Mi'kmaq woman of the Metepenagiag Nation of Canada. She is addressing the systems of commodification, representation, worth, as well as the identity politics surrounding Indigenous Peoples of North America. With this, she fosters a dialogue regarding the treatment, representation, and voice of these marginalized communities. Often the work emphasizes concepts of loss, absence, alongside adapted Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation traditional materials and techniques. Sutherland desires to regain a sense of identity and push to engage a more mindful conversation around topical subjects such as addiction, mental health, feminism, and aboriginal identity politics.


Npuinu ên·pu·i·nu- "Corpse"



Artist Statement

Npuinu (En-pu-i-nu) “Corpse” Npuinu “Corpse” is a replication of my own body that has been made from sugar and is, therefore, itself a “living” piece of work. This body is full and loaded with content, life and a story in itself. As Elizabeth Grosz states, “The body must be regarded as a series of social-political, cultural and geographical inscriptions, productions or constitution. The body is not opposed to culture, a resistant throwback to a natural past; it is itself a cultural, the cultural product.” The indigenous body, the savage, the wild: it has been romanticized, violated, and projected on since the colonization. To this day, the body is inscribed with baggage. 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 idea of “consumption” is why I’ve chosen to use sugar as a material and make candy that can be eaten: a tasty sugar treat to be bought, sold or traded. Creating this physical artwork will aid in promoting a dialogue about these tense social topics in more engaging ways; the truth of the matter is, this is a state of emergency and to stop this cycle we need personal storytelling, language, dialogue and a greater understanding of one another. This is how new conversations of reconciliation can begin.

How it fits into contest

This work is about finding spirit, hope, dialogue and peace. It is about loving our own bodies and the ones we have lost. it is a call for action, contemplation and healing.


Skylar Dawn Borgstrom, Mold making.
Kit MacNeil, Mold making.
Mark Synder, the Installation process.
Josh Elston, the Installation process.
Emily Powrie, the Installation process.
lee Cannarozzo, the Installation process.

How to Purchase this Artwork

The body cast is not for sale, the Neon sign in one of a kind is and priced at $2500.00 USD

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

Sugar casting workshops

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