Shelley Miller  /  PLAN LARGE 2009: Cargo


Artistic interventions on lit billboards in the city

The work of Shelley Miller reflects her fascination for the adornment of facades and the architecture of buildings. She uses inexpensive materials in her artistic research, moving away from their domestic and primary uses to elevate their stature or to mask their reality. The principal material of her artistic creation is that of powdered sugar. The project presented for Plan Large is the result of her research that was started during a trip to Brazil where she saw the installation of tiles made of sugar in the public arena, resembling that of Portuguese ceramic tiles. The Cargo installation similar to that of a large ceramic mural, which is in reality made from sugar, depicts boats from the 15th Century, giving allusion to that of the weighty colonial past and the slavery of the sugar cane cultures. In evoking the temporal or the ephemeral, the perishable materials show the futility of modern times, disappearing little by little under the soil and the rain.

The project of the artist is not just limited to this original as well as ephemeral work; a photograph of the work taken at a stage of its wearing down will be installed on the same board at the start of the autumn. Presented in the setting of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, this double trompe l’oeil - a photograph of the original trompe l’oeil – will open paths of reflection on the perception of both the ephemeral and the permanent.

Shelley Miller

Graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Shelley Miller obtained a Masters in Plastic Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. Recipient of numerous prizes and grants, including for artistic research and travel, she has developed her work in Canada and enriched her practice during prolonged residencies in India and Brazil. Shelley Miller now lives and works in Montreal.