Thursday, 28 January 2016

Artist El Anatsui and bottle top art.



Today I listened to a program on Radio National's Books and Arts Daily, looking at El Anatsui who is one of the world's most acclaimed artists. Sadly, I hadn't heard of him until that point despite his 40-odd years working. If you follow my link to Radio National, you'll see better images than the one I've included here (a screen dump from a Google image search), and see the shimmering pieces from this Ghanian artist. 

El Anatsui described in interview what many artists have probably experienced, where the art that is taught in art school is Eurocentric and there's a sense that local meaning is missing. He described the relationship between alcohol and slavery, and the connection between Africa, the Americas and Europe. Once you understand the thought process, the use of bottle tops from alcohol makes a lot of sense. But what I really liked was his statement about the bottle tops having a second life, and not just a single usage. 

I would really recommend you listen to this 13-minute podcast.

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