It makes sense why the Lion Stool was curated next to the Takpekpe, but are they truly a perfect fit?
The obvious difference of the two art sculpture is the medium, but this is the major difference that sets these two art work apart. The medium of Takpekpe is the cap remains of vodka and liquor bottles, whereas the Lion Stool is created with wood and paint. Now, El Anatsui’s cloth drapes represented the global consumerism and the economic slave trades of Ghana, but the Lion Stool served as “a slap in the face” for Ghanaians about the British rule. Although El Anastui grew up in westernized society, he had a passion for African art. The medium of his works often contain materials from the natural surroundings, in this case, left over vodka caps. In the Asante culture, the stool is a symbol for the laws of common citizens and permanence, and is a sacred emblem that no other nations can touch; that is, until Great Britain took over.
Despite the differences that these two sculptures have, I think El Anatsui wouldn’t mind these two artworks being curated together. El Anatsui intended for the drape to be a reminder of African culture and past even with western influenced society. The Lion Stool is also a significant reminder of African culture. In Asante culture, a stool indicates a significant event in an individual’s life. The Golden Stool is a prominent symbol for all political position. A leader is not put in office, but “enstooled”. The lion in the lion stool represent the Europeans, since Asante carvers observed that most European ships have these animal on them, and the stool means that they have enstooled themselves in the office. This piece of art is a great reminder of the British takeover. El Anatsui’s art works in a way holds similar motifs. These two art works accentuates African art in a European influenced zone.
El Anatsui’s main purpose for his art was to emphasize on African art rather than the standardized western education that was...