The Nigerian artist El Anatsui uses discarded material such as liquor bottle caps and collars to make beautiful tapestries that are now in major museum collections around the world. The Rice Gallery is part of the Fine Arts Department at Rice University, where I studied architecture and fine arts as an undergrad. We had great art exhibits that opened my eyes to a larger world. I’m thrilled that the tradition continues.
I love what he says at the end about the ambiguity of his work and its title (which can mean wall, story, or to disrupt) giving the viewer the freedom to interpret the work in their own ways. I think his work is about making beauty out of humble materials that the world throws away, about seeing materials in new ways, about recycling, and about the continued development of traditional crafts.