Today is the fourth death anniversary of eminent sculptor Novera Ahmed.
Novera Ahmed is considered the first modern sculptor in Bangladesh. Her works feature a gamut of themes, including Buddhist and contextual modern subject matters and use styles ranging from western, folk and others.
Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University organised a commemorative programme featuring discussion on the sculptor on Sunday at its lecture theatre hall.
Novera Ahmed was born in Kolkata on March 29, 1939. Though Patrick Amine, who wrote a preface to her Paris exhibition, available at the web portal Exporevue, provides a different account. ‘She was born during a crocodile hunting expedition in the world’s biggest Mangrove reserve located between the Ganges and Brahmapoutra,’ he wrote.
Novera, inspired by her mother who used to make dolls and clay houses, was drawn to sculpture from a young age.
She studied design at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London and graduated in 1955. Then she went on to receive further training in Florence and Vienna.
She rose to prominence in 1960 with Inner Gaze, the first-ever solo sculpture exhibition by any sculptor in the then Pakistan.
Novera Ahmed, along with Hamidur Rahman, designed the Central Shaheed Minar, which commemorates the 1952 language movement, on Dhaka University campus.
She bid farewell to her home and settled permanently in Paris In 1963. Two years travelling through East Asia inspired a departure in form, yielding several assemblages made from the debris of American warplanes.
Novera received Ekushey Padak in 1997. She passed away on May 6, 2015.
Today, more than 30 of her major sculptural pieces are housed in Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka, while some of her latter-day works can be viewed at the Novera Ahmed Museum, founded in 2018 by her husband in the small town of La Roche-Guyon outside of Paris.
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