Milling About, 2017

‘Milling About’ is inspired by the archaeological collections in the Hull & East Riding museum, as well as Yorkshire’s history of growing grain and producing flour for baking bread. Wilson worked with archaeologist Dr. Melanie Giles, to explore the evolution of ancient grinding technologies and their affect on the human body.

The resulting video follows the protagonist enacting the repetitive motions of grinding grain into flour by hand using quern stones, a common practice in Britain until the Romans brought their engineering skills to the UK. The upper stone is rotated or rubbed to and from on the lower one: the stones grind each other and produce dust. It is rhythmic movement, there is a pace to it but these movements are laborious, demanding and necessary: the body grinds.

Commissioned by Invisible Dust for UK City of Culture 2017.