There Once Was a Girl Named Hester, and Other Damaged Kids

Amitai Ben David creates settings where the individual is surrounded by both the beautiful and the toxic, where brushstrokes build images and deconstruct them simultaneously. His ‘damaged’ and scarred protagonists are balancing themselves in a disintegrating landscape, stumbling and rising. 

2022 Aug 20 - 2022 Oct 29


In There once was a girl named Hester and other damaged kids, the Dutch/Israeli Artist, Amitai Ben David, follows the odyssey of a small doll lost in the ‘real’ world. In this series, Amitai recreates images from a black & white Israeli children’s picture book from the 1960s, ‘Ziva the doll,’ and uses the book’s innocent imagery in order to tell his own tale. Amitai is the son of a Jewish Dutch mother, Hester Trompetter, who was orphaned at one year of age and survived the war years in hiding. Her traumatic upbringing very much formed her identity and later became part of Amitai’s own personal identity. Becoming a father himself, and following his kids’ coming to age, awoke in him the need to explore matters of vulnerability, dependency, courage and belonging. Amitai creates settings where the individual is surrounded by both the beautiful and the toxic, where brushstrokes build images and deconstruct them simultaneously. His ‘damaged’ and scarred protagonists are balancing themselves in a disintegrating landscape, stumbling and rising. Amitai depicts a world where horror and beauty are entangled, where nature blossoms and burns away in fantastic shapes and colours.

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The Nelson Museum is located in beautiful downtown Nelson, British Columbia.

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