A significant solo exhibition of new and existing works, by Larry Achiampong, titled ‘When the Sky Falls’, is to open at John Hansard Gallery part of the University of Southhampton. Described as his most personal solo show to date, moving image and sculptural works bring together childhood remunerations, inspiration from African spirituality and speculation about the future.
It is a real privilege to work with artists, curators and communities to respond to our current turbulent times
Achiampong employs imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore postcolonial themes and ideas surrounding class, self-expression and identity in a post-digital world.
In a new commission, Attack of the Henrys, unnamed guides will take visitors through an underworld of ‘invisible’ workers in a gallery transformed into a purgatorial space based on hauntingly familiar offices. There, anthropomorphised vacuum cleaners will play the role of security guards, protecting a sculpture of made of discarded materials.
Additional works include Sunday’s Best, a short film which considers how belief systems within the African diaspora are influenced by colonial histories and PAN-AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE, featuring a symbolic colour palette and 54 stars for the 54 African countries.
Other events at the gallery included in the 12-month programme for 2020, features significant exhibitions and new commissions from internationally renowned artists, interwoven with its ambitious and dynamic community and events programme.
As the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower – whose passengers initially set sail from Southampton – is commemorated in the UK and internationally, essential items in the programme reflect on this and what the legacy of this poignant moment means today.
Woodrow Kernohan, Director of John Hansard Gallery, says, ‘It is a real privilege to work with artists, curators and communities to respond to our current turbulent times. 2020 is also an opportunity for us to reflect of the legacy of the Mayflower voyage from diverse perspectives. I am excited to share this engaging and interrogative programme that the team has created for the year ahead.’
John Hansard Gallery is an internationally recognised and locally engaged contemporary art gallery in Southampton. Being part of the University of Southampton, the Gallery aims to change the world for the better through great art. To realise this, the Gallery creates innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, events, engagement and research projects that excite, challenge, represent and reach the broadest possible public audience. From 1979 the Gallery was located on the University’s Highfield Campus. In 2018 the Gallery relocated to a new purpose-built arts complex in Southampton’s city centre, significantly increasing the space available for exhibitions, events and integrated programming. Learning and engagement are at the heart of the Gallery and underpin all its activities. The innovative education and public programme is accompanied by special community-focused projects, including activities for all ages and levels of experience. John Hansard Gallery is supported using public funding as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England.
Top Photo: Larry Achiampong courtesy of Copperfield and the artist
Larry Achiampong: When the Sky Falls 25 January – 21 March 2020 John Hansard Gallery part of the University of Southhampton