Acrylic on canvas
CM H 88 W 98
IN H 34.65 W 38.58Signed by artist
This work is part of the latest solo show of Gideon Appah at the gallery 1957 titled "Love Letters". This exhibition presents a journey through the individual and collective memories defining artist Gideon Appah’s West African childhood and personal narrative.
Multi-layered stories of a large family emerge, where tales of mystic visions are passed down through generations, Gollywood films are played on a Gold Star VHS recorder, and forgotten love letters are found in the thin sheets of saturated family albums.
With reference to his last body of work, “Memoirs Through Pokua’s Window” (2018), Appah delves further into a nostalgic and surreal visual language unearthing hidden recollections and shared visions. A dreamlike world of deep, soulful blues holds painterly vignettes from both physical reality and psychological spirituality. This landscape, home to mysterious male spirits emerging from melancholy waters, sits alongside joyful family photographs and interiors from Ghana during the 1980’s and 90’s to create a space where surrealism meets domesticity, and folklore meets religion.
Gideon Appah is a mixed media artist who draws from personal experiences of life in the capital of Accra. In recent works, Appah responds directly to his upbringing, by presenting them in the context of a family setting. The series titled Memoirs Through Pokua’s Window, transforms the booth into Appah’s Grandmother’s house, using old family photo-albums and half-memories as reference material.
Growing up in a large family, the works are reflective of a life characterized by strong emotional bonds, religious activities and folklore. Through nostalgic blues, deep green landscapes and charcoal, his dreamlike compositions place typical domestic interiors from 1980s and 90s Ghana against surreal landscapes.
Pots, stools, lamps, windows, photographs and masks populate Appah’s works, appearing as fragments from inconsistent past. Presented alongside glimpses of nature – plains, trees, plants and particularly rivers – Appah alludes to the organic transformation of memories over time.
Using thick, rough applications of acrylic upon collaged layers of appropriated posters, prints and photographs, Appah directly references his own familial histories. The posters used - advertising haircuts, barber shops and tailoring - relate to occupations of his aunts, uncles and grandparents, the overall result becoming an artistic archive of communal life in Accra.Read more
Gallery 1957 presents leading artists working across West Africa and the diaspora.
Launched by Marwan Zakhem on Ghana Independence Day, 2016, Gallery 1957 has since expanded across two gallery spaces within Accra, dedicating its programme to spearheading international exchanges between contemporary West African art practices and the rest of the world.
Presenting a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists, Gallery 1957 bridges the gap between local and international audiences. Beyond its roster of diverse artists and exhibitions, global gallery partnerships and the establishment of the artist residency programme have welcomed many international artists and arts professionals to Ghana, encouraging them to engage further with the country’s rich contemporary art scene.
Gallery 1957’s work expands beyond the gallery walls through a public programme that includes fairs, talks, off-site projects and site-specific installations commissions - continuously supporting cultural initiatives in Ghana, and beyond.
Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City & Galleria Mall
PMB 66 — Ministries
Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue
Ridge — Accra
11am—7pm during exhibitions