Sculpting Rumi’s Elephant

date: Sunday, July 22, 2007

TEHRAN, Aug. 11 (MNA) — Artist Yasmin Sinaii is currently making a sculpture inspired by Rumi’s story “The Elephant in the Dark”. She is undertaking the work with help from young members of the Children’s Book Council of Iran (CBCI). She said that the CBCI had proposed that the elephant should be made for installation at the Iranian Artists’ Forum to mark “The Year of Rumi” as designated by UNESCO, commemorating the 800th birth anniversary of this great Persian poet and mystic. “We chose Rumi’s story ‘The Elephant in the Dark’ but in this version a series of events happens inside the elephant’s stomach. The 1.50 tall elephant statue is made out of papier-mache,” she added. She went on to say that the council has assigned three sessions in which to complete the project, however, she added, “I think I need one or two extra sessions with the children in order to complete this huge task.” The sculpture will probably be ready in December and will be unveiled during the ceremony which the Iranian Artists’ Forum has planned to hold in commemoration of Rumi. Rumi’s story “The Elephant in the Dark” is about some Hindus who brought an elephant for exhibition and placed it in a dark house. Crowds of people went into the house but were unable to see the beast because of the lack of light inside the room. Each person felt a different part of the animal’s body with his hand with the result that everyone came to varying conclusions about the physical reality of the elephant. Sinaii, who is a sculptor and a painter, is famed for the workshops she holds for children. She mentioned, “I usually write about the experiences I have in each workshop and I also prepare films and photos. I am planning to publish some of these works in a book.” Sinaii hopes to hold one or two workshops each month to train children and their teachers. She has recently held a children’s painting workshop during the First Imam Ali (AS) International Painting Symposium which was held at Tehran’s Imam Ali (AS) Religious Arts Museum in late July. RM/MA END MNA