El Anatsui – Wastepaper bag

One of Africa’s most celebrated artists, El Anatsui presents a unique exhibition of works made from recycled materials. Constructed from discarded obituary printing plates, the ten-foot tall ‘Wastepaper Bag’, stands as a reminder of temporality and decay. In the ‘Cloth’ series (represented in the British Museum’s African Galleries), thousands of discarded liquor-bottle tops are sewn with copper wire into monumental cloth hangings. Anatsui weaves the debris of consumerist excess into a glittering textile in the long tradition of West African textile production, subverting notions of tradition and modernity, and prompting us to re-examine what makes up the very fabric of our lives.

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