DESCRIPTION OF WORK:
During Under Pressure Graffiti Festival, Montreal artist Shelley Miller installed an ephemeral 7 foot x 7 foot mural made entirely of sugar. This hand-painted tile mural, reminiscent of heroically themed azulejo ceramic murals, addresses the links between colonization and slavery. The image seeks to illustrate the current epidemic of young black men disproportionately imprisoned or targeted by police with lethal consequences. Miller has chosen to focus this theme in the context of Brazil to represent the global issue of injustice at the hands of police. Her losing a loved one in Brazil due to profiling and her commitment to social justice were the inspiration to the project.
Where the mural began as bright and crisp, it eroded in the rain, devolving from decadence into decay; a symbol of memento mori (a reminder of our mortality) as well as the destructive legacy that colonization continues to have. The fading imagery on the tiles is also a reminder of both the actual loss of lives, as well as the fading attention these stories receive in the public consciousness.
Thanks for Under Pressure for their support and Lantic Sugar for donating the sugar.