Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui (Hardcover)
The inspiring biography of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui whose handmade sculptures, created from discarded bottle tops, have received international acclaim and been showcased around the world.
If you touch something, you leave a charge on it and anybody else touching it connects with you, in a way. -- El Anatsui
El Anatsui has always written his own story. As an art student at the University of Ghana, El noticed that the artists and styles he was studying were grounded in European traditions. Curious about his own culture's art history, El observed his people and found stories in the fabrics they wore and the way they used recycled goods. He decided to tell these stories through his artwork.
El experimented with different mediums--firing broken clay into new pots and cutting wood into sculptures using a chainsaw. Each time El tried something new, he brought with him the experience of all the experiments he did before. After coming across a discarded bag of shimmering bottle tops, El wondered What was their story? He experimented with the new material--disassembling, flattening, and reshaping--then stitched the tops together with wire. The result were large, flowing tapestries that tell stories about history, culture, and link people together. Today, El's bottle top sculptures are showcased all over the world inspiring audiences everywhere.
Here is the captivating story of a Ghanaian sculptor whose passion, creativity, and awe-inspiring artwork reminds us that creating powerful art is about being true to yourself.
About the Author
Alison Goldberg is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the author of I Love You for Miles and Miles. She blogs about activism in children's literature and loves researching everything from marine life to contemporary art for her books. Alison first learned about El Anatsui's work while studying art in Ghana in 1995 and has sought opportunities to see his sculptures ever since. You can visit her online at alisongoldberg.com Elizabeth Zunon earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration degree at the Rhode Island School of Design and has illustrated many books for children, including Lee & Low Books's Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes. Zunon spent her childhood in Ivory Coast, West Africa, and now lives in Albany, New York, where she was born. Zunon was inspired by both the fragility and the strength of El Anatsui's works and created the illustrations for Bottle Tops with paint and cut paper collage. You can visit her online at lizzunon.com.