Street art

Sweet Street Art: Sugar Murals

Montreal artist Shelley Miller creates intricate murals with sugar icing and edible paint applied like cake frosting, with a piping bag and tip. The street art starts out solid, but eventually disintegrates or washes away in the rain.

The installation above – called Stained – in Victoria, B.C., reflects the historic area’s ornate Victorian architecture.  Miller says the title alludes to “sugar’s stained historical links to slavery.”  Below, a sequence showing the disintegration of Cargo in Montreal (Duke St. at William St.)  66” × 138” at Day 1, Day 4, Day 5 and Day 7.

Above, installing Cargo / Below, detail of Cargo, a billboard in the style of a traditional Portuguese ceramic “azulejo.” Miller paints white sugar tiles with the blue edible paint, and affixes them with icing, then pipes the edges.

Below, Pipe Dreams in Montreal — cake icing applied to the side of an industrial building in a project that took two weeks to install.  The final shot shows close-up detail at one week, six weeks and 12 weeks.

Shelley Miller does a wide variety of other public art installations, including moulded concrete and quilt-inspired designs in ceramic and glass mosaic.

Her sculptures and public works have been exhibited across Canada, India and Brazil.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design and a Masters in Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal.

Shelley Miller’s website, here.


Categories: Street art

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20 replies »

  1. I guess the artist deals with her disappearing art ….like really a gastranomic sculpture of a cake that takes hrs. but disappears ..after it’s eaten. Lives in the stomach memory of time.


  2. Super beautiful! I wonder why they did not do it indoors. I do realize that street art is supposed to be displayed out there but shouldn’t there be some consideration about the materials, etc? But then again, nothing lasts forever, I guess in the end its fragility became one of its most interesting points. Btw, It’s still hard for me to believe that it was made of edible stuff!!!


    • I know what you mean about the edible paint side of it. Agree. I’m with you on the indoor vs outdoor question as well. I think you hit it exactly with your thought that the fragility is what makes it interesting. Thanks for taking the time to say so.


  3. I would be pained, personally, to watch my intricate creation disappear, but then again I don’t possess the talent to recreate stuff like this! I think watching it fall apart and fade is an exceptional part of her process and I love seeing the shots over time. It means more that it is transient, many separate works over the life of one project.


  4. How beautiful and lacy her sugar art is. It makes me think of live music. The musician(s) play their instruments, I hear the music and then it’s gone into the air forever.


  5. It’s interesting that numerous people (all three of you, for example) have similar reactions to the disintegration of these works. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Her other works (glass ceramics, moulded concrete, other creations) are permanent, though, so perhaps that allows the drive for permanence to lag in these works?


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