Acts of Appearance assumed its form within a village of Adivasi papier-mâché artists from the Kokna and Warli tribes in Palghar district. Further inland from Dahanu, it is one of the most impoverished districts in Maharashtra, India. Gill’s collaborator-subjects are renowned for their papier-mâché objects, including traditional sacred masks made for the yearly Bohada procession. In these pictures the artists as well as other local volunteers engage in everyday village activities while wearing new masks, made by them expressly for this body of work beginning in 2015. The new creations depict living beings with the physical characteristics of ordinary humans, commonplace animals, or valued objects. A range of scenarios and narratives, situated in both “reality” and dreamlike states, come together in the photographs, which simultaneously portray symbolic or playful representations as well as the familiar experiences of community members against the backdrop of their home and culture.
Acts of Appearance was created as a community project with the following artists: Bhagvan Dharma Kadu, Subhas Dharma Kadu, Yuvraj Bhagvan Kadu, Rahul Arvind Kakad, Madhuri Subhas Kadu, Vaibhav Subhas Kadu, Rahul Bhagvan Kadu, Makhaval Bhagvan Kadu, Mukta Subhas Kadu, Rangeeta Arvind Kakad, Sampat Raho Vazare, Gangubai Eshwar Vazare, Rajashri Eshwar Vazare, Darshana Devram Kakad, Ganesh Ganpat Lokhande, Sangeeta Ganesh Lokhande, Sangeeta Navnath Kadu, Kusum Bhagvan Kadu, Harishchandra Rama Kadu, Suvrna Harishchandra Vad, Anjana Sachin Kurbude, Sachin Sankar Kurbude, Sanjay Sakharam Vatas, Ganpat Ganga Lokhande, Rupesh Arvind Kakad, Nalini Pradip Valvi, Jyoti Sanjay Vatas, Shravan Budhya Tumbda, Saraswati Subhas Kadu, Sapna Bhagvan Kadu, Bhawna Bhagvan Kadu, Pooja Arvind Kakad, Tushar Prakash Vatas, Tushar Dinkar Vatas, Vijaya Navnath Kadu, Suraj Tukaram Vad, Nishant Tulshiram Thalkar and Nilam Sunil Marad.