I went to an exhibition of El Anatsui's work on the weekend called "Five Decades". El Anatsui works in Nigeria, but is originally from Ghana. The show at Carriageworks in Sydney is a survey of his work from the 1970's to today.
El Anatsui sometimes has up to forty assistants working in his studio, making the sheets of squashed and tied bottle caps that make up a great deal of his work.
The bottle caps or other tin sources are beaten into shape, drilled and tied together with copper wire to make sections of sculptures that are put together like patchwork quilts. The origins of the tin elements are still obvious in the final work, with caps from African alcohol bottles, tobacco boxes and cooking oil cans.
This is an astounding show, not only because of the vast amount of Anatsui's work on display, but the space in which it hangs - Carriageworks has been turned into a gallery and theatre complex with just the right amount of restoration, and preservation, keeping the feel of the original railway engineering and maintenance workshops.
The show runs until March 6 2016.
John MacDonald wrote a review of the show that was in the SMH over the weekend:
An interesting video linked here showing Anatsui in his studio
Photo by Dave Hickson
To follow me on Instagram please click the logo below