Francoise Bosteels was born in 1942 in Aalst, Belgium.

Mother holding Francoise and her twin sister

A family portrait

She trained as a nurse.

In 1965 she joined the Sisters of the Divine Saviour in France. She came to India in 1974 and worked in health education programs and in leprosy prevention and care in South Tamil Nadu villages. The village life, people’s closeness to nature and the beauty and simplicity of their lives were her first inspiration in the creation of dolls.

From 1984 to 2004, she helped in the formation of novices in Bangalore, and later she became a member of the SDS Provincial Council. She continues to involve herself in holistic health education and in social awareness through her artistic expressions.

Francoise is also the author of three books based on her iconic dolls, entitled, “The Dolls Speak”, “Through the Needle’s Eye” and “Human Icons, Sacred Stories”.

The significance of her dolls and its impact on people’s life went far beyond any dreamed expectation. As she reveals, the Divine has taken her by surprise. At night, she creates dolls and almost disappears in what takes shape. In utter silence and solitude she searches and finds her roots where the human, the cosmic and the Divine encounter. And the fruit of her creative delight has become her Sacred Art.

And when she ponders over her creations born out of love and compassion, she feels how much the dolls have become sensitive and receptive to numerous human stories –rich in significance- of those who have pondered over them, and of those who have written about them and interpreted them. For her, they indeed are precious Human Icons and Sacred Stories.

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