On 2 August, 2017, the British Council launched Saptan Stories, a creative project by Aardman Animations, commissioned as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. It is a first-of-its-kind online campaign bringing together seven celebrated artists and the public to create a story told by millions of Indians.
As a mass collaborative arts event, Saptan Stories will engage the public to generate a unique crowdsourced short story, interpreted and illustrated by 7 artists from India and the UK.
The story plays out in the form of a giant game of consequences across the digital space and is open to millions of young Indians. The first line of the story was written by the Oscar-winning storytellers from Aardman and the audience took over to decide what direction the story takes.
Audiences are invited to participate via the Saptan Stories website where they submit their story line ideas, and vote for a winner each week. The selected line is each week beautifully illustrated by 7-talented visual artists from India and the UK.
Visit the project website for the full timeline and opportunity to get involved with this one-of-a-kind story.
About the Saptan Stories artists
Adrita Das (India): Mumbai-based illustrator; often found dabbling in religion, dark humour, ethnography, meditative video editing, shaky backstage footage, story-telling for adults and educational games for kids.
Gavin Strange (UK): By day, a Senior Designer for the brilliant Aardman Animations and by night goes under the alias of JamFactory, where he indulges in his passion for side-projects, from filmmaking to toy design, illustration to photography. Gav’s illustrations are colourful, fun and bold.
Gemma Correll (UK): Cartoonist, writer, illustrator and all-round small person, with illustration clients including Hallmark, The New York Times, Oxford University Press, Knock Knock, Chronicle Books and The Observer, Gemma’s illustrations are achingly British, addictively funny and invariably feature pugs!!
Janine Shroff (India/UK): Janine’s art is figurative and occasionally surreal. It explores a range of themes including birth, pregnancy, gender. She was born in Mumbai but currently lives and works in London.
Priyesh Trivedi (India): Mumbai’s another gifted artist, who has been storming the art space with his spellbinding and immensely popular Adarsh Balak (Ideal Boy) series of paintings. According to him, art leaves lasting impression on the mind of the viewer than words.
Saloni Sinha (India): An illustrator who day-dreams to ignite her art work. She’s been freelancing for a lot bands for their album covers/logos, comic strips and flyers for music fest & events. Music is a major source of inspiration for this designer from Bengaluru.
Tom Mead (UK): A surreal character designer and fine artist, working traditionally with pen drawings on paper or wood and based in Bristol in the UK. Mead's inspiration comes from his own intense personal fears and inhibitions, which are represented vicariously through mysterious genderless characters. These stem from his childhood fear of humans dressed as animals, He is influenced by dark folk tales, the pop surrealist art scene, horror films, and is a huge fan of anything creepy and otherworldly.