Book on sculptor Novera Ahmed launched

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 00:00, Jan 23,2020


Guests pose for a photograph at the book launch. — Sony Ramany

A book on the life and works of sculptor Novera Ahmed was launched at a programme at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on Wednesday.

Novera Ahmed is considered the first modern sculptor in Bangladesh. She was born in Kolkata on March 29, 1939. 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. She passed away on May 6, 2015.

The book titled ‘Novera: Bibhuiye Swabhume’ written by Anna Islam gives the readers a glimpse into sculptor Novera Ahmed’s life and works. It has been jointly published by Journeyman Books and Anyaprokash.

National professor Anisuzzaman was present as chief guest at the book launch programme, presided over by chairman of Board of Trustees of Bangladesh National Museum Shamsuzzaman Khan.

Besides, chief executive of Anyaprokash Publications Limited Mazharul Islam, chief executive officer of Journeyman Books Tarik Sujat and renowned Bangladeshi artist Shahabuddin Ahmed were present at the event. A documentary on Novera Ahmed was also screened at the book launch.

Gregoire de Brouhns, widower of Novera Ahmed, and noted art critic Mainuddin Khalid and writer of the book Anna Islam, among others, spoke at the programme.

‘The book won’t be here today if it hadn’t been for Gregoire de Brouhns. I had to wait for three years to have an audience with Novera Ahmed in 1997. Novera was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1997 but she refused to accept the prestigious award. I urge the readers to read the book,’ said Anna Islam.

‘Novera was a modest person. In the documentary, you can see that she was very sick and suffering from age-related complications. She had to suffer a lot during the last days of her life, said Gregoire de Brouhns.

‘It is unfortunate that people don’t know much about Novera Ahmed. She was a pioneer in the field of sculpture. She made significant contribution to our art and culture scene. I congratulate and thank Anna Islam for writing a book on her,’ said Anisuzzaman.

The book will be translated into French and English soon.

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