Internationally recognized Ghanaian-born Nigerian based artist El Anatsui, bends twists, and reshapes discarded liquor caps, then punches holes in them and knits them together with metal wire. Though one would expect the results to look commonplace or dilapidated, the results that emerge from his laborious process are richly colored, luxuriantly textured tapestries.
Anatsui’s preferred media are clay and wood, which he uses to create objects based on traditional Ghanaian beliefs and other subjects. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches; more recently, he has turned to installation art. Some of his works resemble woven cloths such as kente cloth.
Anatsui’s art is abstract. Colour, shape and light tell his story. In some pieces there are hundreds of dancing colours, while others are dominated by broad swathes of silver or gold or red. Unlike mosaics, these works are flexible; hanging free, they ripple as if they were cloth.
(Photo’s courtesy of Various sources)