Student Arts Ambassador Kate Briggs-Price interviewed artist Larry Achiampong in January 2020, during his solo exhibition When the Sky Falls at John Hansard Gallery, 25 January – 14 March 2020.
Larry and Kate chat about all things – from working across different mediums and taking artistic inspiration from popular culture, to class, race, privilege and the environment (and how they are all connected).
John Hansard Gallery is part of University of Southampton and is funded by Arts Council England. Larry Achiampong is represented by Copperfield Gallery, London.
With thanks to Larry Achiampong and John Hansard Gallery.
Video by Kate Briggs-Price.
👀 GO AND SEE: PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE (MOTION)
Larry Achiampong’s stunning artwork PAN AFRICAN FLAGS FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE (MOTION) (2018) currently adorn the facade of John Hansard Gallery, overlooking Guildhall Square.
It is well worth taking a socially-distanced trip up to the gallery to see the artwork which will be in place until the end of August 2020.
This series of flags feature the Pan African colours of red, black, green and yellow-gold, that speak symbolically to various African diasporic identities. The colours green, black and red reflect Africa’s land, its people and the struggles the continent has endured, whilst the yellow-gold represents a new day and prosperity. The 54 stars overlaying the motif represent the 54 counties of Africa.
For Achiampong, this speculative project reflects upon the world’s social and political climate, particularly the rise of nationalism in the global West and the tensions surrounding political occurrences such as the Brexit 2016 referendum, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Whilst in contrast in Africa, the African Union’s African passport programme of 2016, indicate the continent’s potential for opening up its boarders across a unified Africa.
The PAN AFRICAN FLAGS FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE project forms part of a larger body of the work Relic Traveller, an expansive multi-disciplinary undertaking manifesting in performance, audio, moving image and prose. Developed over multiple locations – including Somerset House, Westminster Underground Station, Whitechapel Art Gallery – this project builds upon a postcolonial perspective informed by technology, agency and the body, and narratives of migration.
PAN AFRICAN FLAGS FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE (MOTION) was part of Achiampong’s recent exhibition When the Sky Falls, 8 February – 21 March 2020, that sadly had to close early on 14 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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