Through the mediation of Selasi Awusi Sosu, participating artist at Ghana's first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019, the world-famous artist El Anatsui has accepted the patronage of our project Exploring Visual Cultures (EVC).
El Anatsui is a Ghanaian sculptor who has spent much of his achievement packed career living and working in Nigeria. He currently runs a very robust studio in Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria, where he creates some of the world's most beautiful and touching works of art. You can find a discussion of his work "Rising Sea" here.
El Anatsui is among the most highly acclaimed artists in African history and one of the foremost contemporary artists in the world.
He uses resources that are typically discarded, such as liquor bottle caps and cassava graters, to create sculptures that defy categorization. His use of these materials reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent while transcending the limitations of place. His work can interrogate the history of colonialism and draw connections between consumption, waste, and the environment; however, it is his unique aesthetic language, expressed through unconventional materials, that distinguishes his practice.
Anatsui is well-known for large scale sculptures composed of thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of aluminium bottle caps sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire. These intricate works, which can grow to be massive in scale, are luminous and weighty, meticulously fabricated yet malleable. He leaves the installations open and encourages the works to take new forms every time they are installed. (Source: https://elanatsui.art/biography)