AN OPENING RECEPTION WITH THE ARTIST WILL TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 5 FROM 6-9PM.
CEPA is pleased to present ANGO’TG: Taking Care of, a saccharine installation by Julia Rose Sutherland. Julia Rose 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 New Brunswick, 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 emphasises 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.
Through performance she engages traditional and spiritual methods such as the act of smudging and physical acts of exertion to connect herself with the natural landscape and her spirituality. Sutherland utilizes poetry, which takes the form of visual storytelling, to draw attention to political and sociological issues that impact Indigenous communities in Canada. Part of her practice focuses on creating urban installations which speak to coping mechanisms associated with systematic oppression and understanding of genealogical and spiritual identity. Julia draws attention to the way in which colonialism, postcolonial trauma and economics have had a ever lasting effect on Mi’kmaq spiritual wellbeing, mental health, and health inflictions such as diabetes and heart disease.
A major theme of Sutherland’s current work is the concept of the “trickle down effect,” which is a symptom of intergenerational trauma and marginalization that is rooted in genocide, racism, rape culture, and spiritual restrictions brought on through the colonization of North America. Sutherland explores how trauma, mental illness, and violence has affected her own life and the lives of First Nations people over the last 500 years. By unearthing this history of oppression and its effects, her art can draw attention to the cannibalistic way in which society consumes the body with visual, political, and economic languages. Using linguistic methodologies, voice (text/storytelling), and symbolic images (such as the tongue in recent works) Sutherland reinforces the importance of language.