Esther Bunting is a performance artist, playwright, event director and life model.
She evolved her Girl in Suitcase performance to explore the life cycle of woman, reclaim menstrual rites, reconsider the role of the life model; as well as tell her own story. Like much of her work, it is performance art theatre; full length plays with interactive elements of a live art nature.
Most recently she has been investigating the stories of some of her ancestors – an ongoing work which resulted in ‘Roots‘ in 2019. In 2020, her ‘Growing Roots‘ monologue was an intimate play about her youth.
In 2010 she created Spirited Bodies to provide a platform for womxn mainly, to try life modelling in a safe environment, and gain a new sense of embodiment. In 2018 the project began moving towards a focus on empowering teenagers, by encouraging them to draw a wide variety of natural human forms and simultaneously discussing mental health issues.
I am a physical artist who needs to connect with others and share in the communion of bodies unfolding in space – I feel human when I create – alive and on fire!
Through my career as a professional life model – everyday sharing of myself for art – I confronted notions of objectification, speaking out, creating my own role, building and contributing to a community of models and artists, as well giving others the chance to enhance their lives through life modelling within Spirited Bodies. These days I model much less as I want to devote more time to my own art.
I am informed by my traditional and experimental theatre background; feminism, and life-long learning about the past. Writing helps me to find expression which can also emerge through performance and project workshops.