Gill’s interest in the value of social diversity led her to research notions of individuality; these aspects formed part of her University of Plymouth Fine Art Year II show, an installation entitled Gathering Dust: celebrating diversity.
The table setting, Installation represents a banquet - sharing a meal – food, the great equaliser.
Using her deep-space photographic images and finding a suitable medium directed the research towards urban / household dust. The images included the M51 Spiral Galaxy, an Occultation of Saturn by the Moon, Saturn after the Occultation, the Moon Surface and Venus. The rationale for this synergy (terrestrial dust and deep space images) refers to the long-gone stardust that hatched our solar system but which constitutes our very being. Our astral heritage, human beings consist these borrowed elements, iron, carbon, sulphur – which, though, slip away after death, meanwhile manifest a rich and diverse humanity, as infinite as the 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone.
House hold dust, unlike interstellar particles used in this installation, is a mix of dead insect parts, flakes of human skin, shreds of fabric, detritus and debris and which is also (culturally) vile in different degrees. Mary Douglas is quoted as saying that dirt is only matter out of context. She contends that people flee dust and dirt because they are the detritus of cultural constrictions of order, and constitute an inchoate state of being, a type of moral defilement.
But dust knows no boundaries – either cultural or biological - and therefore becomes metaphor for humanities common existence and evolution.
The table setting installation consists: place settings for a variety of categories of dust and dirt and deep space photographic images
Table place setting
• Occultation of Saturn by the
• Moon, Moon,
• M51 Spiral Galaxy;
• Household dust and dust from
• Lockyer Observatory,
• Human hair;
photographed and printed onto cotton sheet and used as place mats
In 2007 Gill was awarded an Arts grant for her concept that felt making, the process and product, is a metaphor for social diversity. The award and context was Leicester(shire) said to be the most culturally diverse city in Europe. …………