“When I Last Wrote to You about Africa” Tells a Brilliant Story.

The current exhibition of works by prolific African artist El Anatsui at the Denver Art Museum is a visceral manifestation of the ancient storytellers. Using what the immediate has to […]

September 12, 2012 // Tracy Shaffer // No Comments //

The current exhibition of works by prolific African artist El Anatsui at the Denver Art Museum is a visceral manifestation of the ancient storytellers. Using what the immediate has to offer, Anatsui’s wood work, metal sculptures, clay pieces and installations whisper deep into the soul. Shimmering tapestries of bottle caps hang and drape the Hamilton gallery space like stained glass windows for everyman. One of the artist’s quote stenciled on a wall “Rather than recounting history, my art is telling about what history has provoked” resonates within me as a playwright, while others make me want to scrawl them out large on my children’s walls… or perhaps my own.
Pull from your personal history for inspiration
Look for materials in the immediate environment
Travel, and bring your travel experience to bear in your work
Allow for the possibility of something unexpected and wonderful to happen
A professor for many years at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Anatsui teaches a way of seeing the world—a process rather than a particular style. His advice to his art students reveals much about his own art and his connection to a timeless wisdom.
Read more of my journey through this grounding and uplifting exhibit.


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