I spent ten days in France at the end of July and through the first part of August, splitting time between the Loire and Dordogne regions. The Loire is well-known for its beautiful chateaux. During this trip I was lucky enough to see the Arts & Nature 2015 exhibition at the chateau of Chaumont-sur-Loire. Each year the chateau holds an art exhibition both inside the chateau and its outbuildings and outside in the park grounds. I have long been an admirer of the Ghanian artist, El Anatsui, and was excited to see he was one of the featured artists. As a sculptor he began his career working with wood and clay. More recently he has become known for his immense hangings or wall coverings using recycled materials, such as discarded liquor-bottle caps.
He says, “These are objects which have been manipulated and used by humans then thrown away. To give them another life constitutes part of my work. I think that nothing or no one is useless. Even in the most dramatic circumstances, there is always the possibility of rebirth, of change.”
His work is flexible which allows it to be shaped and altered for any installation. The piece I viewed, hanging on three walls, was stunning. It resembled a huge tapestry, being somewhere between sculpture and installation, glittering and undulating from hundred of thousands of bottle caps, some colorful, others silver or gold. I could find no title in the catalog I purchased. But then this is a case where pictures say it all. I’ve included several close-ups so you can see how the hanging changes in what materials are used and how they are manipulated.