Arts + Culture

Our Favorite New Pieces from Africa’s “Most Significant Living Artist”—El Anatsui

Check out these photos of El Anatsui's new exhibition at London's October Gallery.

LONDON--"Benchmarks," the title of El Anatsui’s exhibition at London’s October Gallery, takes on multiple meanings relating to the both the artist and his work.

At the 56th Venice Biennale, where Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the show’s curator Okwui Enwezor, described him as Africa’s most significant living artist praising “the originality of Anatsui’s artistic vision, his long-term commitment to formal innovation, and his assertion through his work of the place of Africa’s artistic and cultural traditions in international contemporary art."

Anatsui’s famed metal wall sculptures are made from bottle-tops that are pierced and crushed, by a team of assistants, on work benches. These benches are what Anatsui, in conjunction with Factum Arte, the Madrid-based team of conservators, have developed into the prints that constitute much of Benchmarks.


Mike Ward, director of the intaglio studio at Factum Arte, explained that “after 3D scanning these wooden pieces and using the textural information to make routed aluminium intaglio plates they became versatile source material with which to try anything and everything”.

One such successful try is Eclipse Suite, a collection of 13 pieces named after the 13 cycles of the moon.

A large number of prints were laid on the floor for Anatsui to arrange in a format of his choosing “El chose to concentrate on the recto and verso images of the near circular distressed wooden tray which he overlapped and allowed to enter and exit from the edges. This was the beginning of the idea of eclipses”.

Ends May 13th

Sabo Kpade is an Associate Writer with Spread The Word. His short story Chibok was shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize 2015. His first play, Have Mercy on Liverpool Street was longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. He lives in London. You can reach him at

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Interview: Sincerely Ria Is Giving Guinean Fashion Its Flowers

And designer Mariama Diallo's NYFW debut celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of Guinea and its Fulani culture.