An appreciation of Walker’s work and craft.
Back in 2014, Visual Artist Kara Walker installed her project ‘A Subtlety’ in the abandoned Domino Sugar plant down in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The installation included a giant sphinx, similar to the one in Egypt, but her rendition resembles an African woman. The Sugar Sphinx is surrounded by little children made of molasses, holding up baskets that represent those of laborers. Being that each of the sculptures were made using sugar in some form, it made sense for Walker to install the art down in the abandoned factory. Walker’s creativity shines through in this piece as she uses a material that is directly related to the subject matter.
The statement piece was directly tackling the issue of slavery in the sugar industry. For those of you who don’t know, granulated sugar comes from raw sugar cane. These canes are typically found in the Caribbean, which means the good had to be transported. An increase in the demand for sugar meant more slaves had to be shipped in from Africa to meet demand needs. Walker defined the piece as “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.”