Bitter Sweet

We’ve just come across Kara Walker’s sugar sculpture, exhibited last year in the now demolished Domino Sugar Factory on the banks of the East River, between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Entitled A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, it featured sculptures that provoked discussion about the role of sugar in America’s history.

The exhibition consisted of a giant female sphinx, measuring approximately 80-feet long by 40-feet high, and several life-size child-like figures, dubbed attendants. The sphinx was made by covering a polystyrene core with machine-cut blocks of white sugar, which were then further cut by hand and smoothed with a sugar slurry.

The refining plant donated 80 tons of sugar for Walker’s piece. The smaller figures were cast from boiled sugar and had a dark amber or black colouring.

Her visual language is applicable throughout the world, and reminds us of the power of art to defy conventions. Do take a moment to watch the video.

You can find out more about Walker here.


YouTube video