Renowned bronze sculptor Jasu Shilpi known as the ‘Bronze woman of India’ passed away in the city on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
At 11 am on Monday the artist complained of back pain, uneasiness and breathlessness at her residence in Tarapur-Adalaj and asked her children to take her to the hospital. “We thought she had had a mild attack as she had blood pressure problem. Her BP dipped as we reached Nidhi hospital. Fifty per cent of her heart stopped pumping and she was put on ventilator. After five to six hours, at 6pm, the doctor said she was no more,” her son, Dhruv Shilpi said.
Jasuben, as she was fondly called, proved her mettle by making more than 1000-odd sculptures installed around the world, with 225 large size statues and 525 bust size ones in bronze. She also got her name inscribed in the Limca Book of Records in 2005 for her statue of Rani Lakshmibai on a horse.
She has been awarded with the Miracles World Record Certificate, Woman of the Year, Abraham Lincoln Artist Award- USA, Award for Excellence and the Best Citizen of India. This year she made a statue of Hanuman, India’s biggest bronze statue.
If her sculpturing speaks volumes about her creative passion, Jasuben’s bronze statues talk about her patriotism. She was very passionate about setting up a bronze museum named Jasu Shilpi Studio which is under development near Adalaj. “She used to say she would dedicate this museum to the country,” said Bahadur, one of her team workers.
Team workers who spent almost two decades working with the artist at her sculpting studio, spoke about her compassionate and giving nature, “She bought kites for all the workers and treated us as her children. She was going to visit Vaishno Devi in March and then travel to Dubai and USA,” another team member said.
Apart from Gujarat, Jasuben’s bronze statues have been installed not only in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan, but abroad too. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are installed in Florida University, Jacksonville, Chicago and Charlotte in North Carolina.
Her bronze statues reflected the artist’s strong persona. She used the heaviest bronze for making sculptures. “She was like a coconut, hard exterior and soft interior. She was dignified, courageous and hard working and this was evident in her works. She was a dreamer and an achiever and thus an inspiration for everyone,” said Dhruv.
Her children, Dhruv and Dhara too are well-known sculptors and are working to take forward her legacy and keep her work alive through the bronze museum.