Two sculptors who use metal and wood to make exquisite creations will discuss the amazing stories of their affinity with their art in this week’s edition of CNN African Voices, sponsored by digital solutions provider, Globacom. This is in line with its tradition of showcasing Africans who are making great impact on the continent. The duo are Nigeria’s Dotun Popoola, who has a penchant for fabricating discarded metals into eyepopping sculptures and Jems Koko Bi, an Ivorien, who finds use for fallen trees by turning them into spectacular carvings. Popoola, 40, is a master of synergetic metal works focused on transforming trash to treasures, rubbish to rubies and waste to wealth while at the same time protecting the ecosystem.
He is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, in Nigeria where he obtained his first and second degrees in Fine and Applied Arts with bias in sculpture and painting respectively. He was subsequently employed as curator at the National Gallery of Arts. He later became a resident artist in Lopez Studio in Lemmon, South Dakota, US, from where he traverses Nigeria to paint commissioned murals. Koko Bi, on his part, studied Spanish History at the University of Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. The 55-year-old also studied at Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle (INSAAC) in Abidjan and at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany. His spectacular works have earned him awards including the Francophone Prize, Dakar Biennale 2008; Foundation Art and Culture of North Rhine-Westphalia: Project Scholarship; The Dakar Biennale, Prize, 2000 as well as The Kunstverein Düsseldorf Prize.