Esther David – The Sculptor – 1966-1979
Earlier David studied art at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. She studied sculpture under the guidance of famed guru and well known sculptor Sankho Choudhury. She held ten exhibitions of her sculptures and drawings from 1968 to 1979 at the Jehangir Art Gallery and the Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai. Collections of her sculptures are in India and abroad, and can be seen at Ahmedabad’s city museum at Sanskara Kendra.
“Inside me, there was a sea of stories, but as a sculptor I was locked in a block of wood.”
– Esther David
Esther David and Outsider Art. Through Action through Art.
Esther David has used art for development in the less privileged areas of Ahmedabad through the use of artistic expression in uneducated women living in shanty areas and created a distinct style of folk arts. Pushpa Rajaram painted and made patchwork. Devooben made colourful quilts and Lavingben became known for her masks and Ganesha. Esther David also worked with young women of Gupta Nagar hutments, which became known as Outsider Art. Her work was part of an exhibition titled IN THE STREET, JUST ACROSS MY HOUSE, held on 8th March, during the International Woman’s Day, UNESCO Paris, 1994. Other exhibitions were held at Artisans du Monde, Paris and Contemporary Art Gallery Ahmedabad, followed by art works of earthquake victims of Gujarat in 2000.
She often teaches Art Appreciation at CEPT University, Ahmedabad and for many years she has taught art history and art appreciation at CEPT, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar and other institutes of art and design. She was Chairperson Gujarat State Lalit Kala Academy and received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Government of Gujarat. During this period, she was co-ordinator for the West Zone Cultural Center, Udaipur, by bringing many festivals to Gujarat, of visual arts, folk arts, crafts, performing arts and a Bahurupee sammelan. She also worked with Malti Mehta of EMRC to make videos on art education. She was consultant on the subject of Art in Under-privileged Areas with various NGO’s of Ahmedabad like AWAG. She has participated in group shows in Ahmedabad with her drawings and illustrates all her novels.