The Pizza Box is a symbol of our age of convenience. Quickly ordered and delivered to ones door, the pizza is now a template on which many cultures are able to impose their palate. Manna from Heaven is a sculpture and interactive puzzle seen from a bird’s eye view. It asks what type of future we could taste. Manna – Bread was given by God every morning to the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt to Sinai. It had to be eaten on the day otherwise it would rot. This prevented hoarding and greed for personal gain.
The idea for ‘Manna from Heaven’ is based on the juxtaposition between convenience and rigour. It signifies the contrast between what we have become used to in our daily life and what has increasingly come under threat: the time for contemplation, discussion between people about the nature of existence, the puzzle of life. The inspiration for this piece comes from a cross Gigi saw in Northern Scotland, which was a Christian slab cross, uncovered in the 20th century. It had been incised in the early Medieval era and was the used as part of a deep grave.
This puzzle sculpture plays on the premise that the negative space is as important as the positive. In one space, a conversation takes place by four figures that we see from above when we open the lid of the pizza box. These figures with abstracted heads and bodies converge and are inclined in serious deliberation. They occupy the negative space around an early Medieval Christian cross. Their ‘heads’ notch into the cross – the positive permanent symbol of Christianity. It is as though they hold up the cross and complete the space. The heads resemble question marks. Christianity is a puzzle that offers, for some, a way of managing temporal life. For others, it has yet to be discovered. Religion forces us to ask questions about our lives and the nature of our existence.
Gigi’s puzzle within a pizza box replicates the indented corners at the right angles of the cross, which appeared to her like puzzle heads. The ‘heads’ ponder this puzzle as well as constitute it. Are these ordinary folk? The Evangelists? The Apostles? Are they receiving the Manna, succour from their faith? Gigi’s oak cross, and the four heads surrounding it, support one another, creating an image of interdependence. The idea being that the cross, and by extension Christianity itself, creates the foundations on which people can hold discussions and come together.