A tableau of the Hindu goddess Durga was made for the British Museum Voices of Bengal season, to coincide with the Durga Puja festival. (Photos provided by the museum)
Skilled craftsmen from West Bengal were brought in, for whom the installation is also an act of devotion. First, the god figures were sculpted out of bamboo and straw.
The idol was then covered with several layers of clay and mud. A small amount of River Ganges mud and cow dung was brought from India to 'purify' the sculpture.
Here the clay stage is complete. The goddess, revered as mother of the universe, is astride a lion killing the buffalo demon Mahesha. She is flanked by her four children.
The figures are then coloured and the master craftsman paints the eyes on the idols, known as Chakshudan. This symbolises the gods inhabiting the figures.
Once the painting was complete, a decorated arched backdrop embellished with traditional drawings was added to the tableau.
The slaying of the demon, representing good triumphing over evil, is the most popular form of Durga's image in Bengal. The sculpture will be immersed in the Thames on 2 October.