Carriageworks hosts major exhibition by renowned Ghanian artist El Anatsui

Acclaimed Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s first major exhibition in Australia has opened at Sydney’s Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival, marking the first Schwartz Carriageworks project. Running until 6th March 2016, the exhibition showcases more than 30 works from Anatsui dating all the way back to the 1970s, bringing in a range on ceramics, drawings, sculptures, and woodcarvings, displayed by the artist’s renowned, expansive large-scale installations.

Anatsui, who was born in 1944 in Anyako, Ghana, is recognised as one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, with multiple awards to including the esteemed Gold Lion Award of the 2015 Venice Biennale. The artist’s work threads through the history of abstract art  from Ghana and Nigeria. This exhibition taps into that diverse style as well as the artist’s unique way of merging traditional styles with contemporary art and current issues.

Themes constant throughout the exhibition include an awareness of the fragility and transience of existence and a belief that damaged or discarded objects can be transformed into something new, incorporating multiple sources and parts to form a whole. Visitors to the exhibition will also be aware of the importance of language as a metaphor to expand the interpretation of art.

The Schwartz Carriageworks project is a five-year series of major international and Australian visual arts projects to take place in the iconic Sydney space, following the recent gift to Carriageworks of $500,000 by Anna Schwartz, the Director and founder of Anna Schwartz Gallery.

El Anatsui: Five Decades is on at Carriageworks until 6th March 2016. The exhibition is free to the public and will be open from 10am until 6pm every day.

Headline image: Zan Wimberley.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.