'Garden Party', an interpretation by Vik Gill
Redefining the concept of food porn, the piece transcends the merely erotic, offering a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the darker realms of humanity lurking somewhere between the banality of everyday life and extraordinary perversion.
The Girls draw upon the idea of Nyotaimori, the Japanese practice of eating sushi or sashimi from the naked body of a young woman, as is said to be favoured by business men and Yakuza gangsters.
'Garden Party' smirks at cultural norms, blithely transforming the quintessential English tea party into something rather less morally comfortable.
Playing artfully with understatement, The Girls invoke a familiar middle class world of cricket lunches and tea with the Vicar to full effect with their cleverly offhand inclusion of a gender-ambiguous vicar seen casually sipping tea from a dainty china tea cup while reaching for a French fancy. It is this provocative insouciance that gives the work its tremendous power.
Is the woman-as-picnic-table dead, bored, or willing? Does the Vicar regard her as merely an obedient trophy to do with as he pleases, in total subjugation to his lascivious desires? Or has he become so desensitised to his own perversion that he regards as nothing more shocking than tea and cakes that which others see as desecration.
'Garden Party' challenges viewers to examine their own prurience, and perhaps religious hypocrisy, away from the cosy sentiment of cultural tradition. Doing so makes for uncomfortable viewing.
© Vik Gill