Gideon Appah is a mixed media artist who draws from personal experiences of life in the capital of Accra. In new works created for 1-54, 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.