Gideon Appah Ghana, b. 1987


In new other-worldly works, Appah depicts surreal scenes of unknown figures populating natural landscapes. Introducing jewel-like greens alongside washes of peach and pops of colour, his works reveal barely clothed figures against scenes miraged with tropes from legend and myth.

Through nostalgic blues and verdigris, his worlds are abstracted and fragmented, with glimpses of nature and ghostly reflections barely visible. Through these ethereal works, Appah focuses on presence or feelings evoked, in turn alluding to the organic transformations of memories over time. Using thick, rough application of acrylic to build up his compositions, his works respond directly to his own familial stories, whilst also reflecting on a country’s national history.


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.