Npat Featured image

Crafting Stories in Clay

A collection of stories which involve amazing animals, peculiar places and thinking things. All made in clay. This project is inspired from a childhood game which I assume many of us used to play, Name Place Animal Thing. 

The process is somewhat complicated but I try my best to keep the output simple, minimal and hopefully managing to build a connection. The eventual aim of this project is to craft 25 stories.

I have filled a jar with paper chits carrying words for places, animals and things. I pick three chits at random, one from each category. Based on what the chits say, I create a story and give it a ‘name’. I sculpt in clay a definitive view including all the elements that manages to atleast tell some part of the story. Finally, I set them all up and take a photograph. This photograph can be seen in isolation for the viewer to make their own story or can be read along with the story I have imagined.

Npat Ways Of Seeing

Name: Ways of seeing
Place: Party
Animal: Sheep
Thing: Part of Anatomy (I chose eyes)

There was no cake, no grass. Not a blade of grass. 

There were glasses and cups full of salty water. There were slices of cucumber lying around, looking depleted.

And everyone was staring at her.

She was poor of sight but not stupid. Took her 7 seconds to come to the realisation. The event poster she had read welcomed all “ewes” to the “sheep” party.

Feeling hot and humiliated, but not one to be intimidated by staring she asked if she could stick around.

Everyone said “aye”.

Npat Lux And Luxmi

Name: Lux and Luxmi
Place: Lighthouse
Animal: Owl
Thing: Dumbells

Years before the seas started to rise, a different kind of a friendship was born.

Luxmi, the owl at times felt a sting of loneliness, out on the coast preying on fish while everyone slept. On one such hunt, as she flew by Lux, the lighthouse, she was drawn to his wakefulness. Extraordinary! For it was the dead of the night, and he was up and about.

Lux and Luxmi, a pair they became. And a decade of friendship passed. They dozed during the day, and the night was the time for life. Hunting became easy for Luxmi as brightened the surface of the sea. And wise conversations with Luxmi kept Lux’s boredom of shipless nights at bay. One by habit, and the other by birth, loved immobility. With her tummy full and his mind enlightened, they spent numerous hours watching the world go by, at the edge of the mainland.

Then, and when the sea began to rise, the waters submerged a part of land that cut Lux off. A new and improved lighthouse, Lux2, was built on the mainland, now that Lux was soon to be consumed by the sea. No one predicted this to be a hurdle but Luxmi refused to move. They offered her the same arrangement but after the togetherness of so many nights, she wouldn’t abandon him on a stormy day.

The entire community had the same won’t-abandon-blood, they wouldn’t let go of Luxmi for a reason such as rising waters. So a bridge was built connecting Lux to Lux2. Someone from the mainland took the narrow bridge daily to leave a fish for the ageing Luxmi.

The love of the night brought them together, and together they would watch the last sunset.

Npat The Last Bamboo

Name: The Last Bamboo
Place: Museum
Animal: Panda
Thing: Suitcase

If you got the last slice of pizza in the world, would you eat it or would you put it in a safe place?

Plagued by a similar question to which she had no answer, Lin Hui packed into her suitcase a map and the very last stem of Bamboo on Earth, delicately wrapped, safe for the longest journey of her life.

And then, she left.