Awards for Artists
Image of Larry Achiampong
Photo: Emile Holba.

Larry Achiampong

Larry Achiampong (born 1984) employs imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity. He works individually and collaboratively to examine constructions of ‘the self’ by splicing the audible and visual materials of personal and interpersonal archives, offering multiple perspectives that reveal entrenched socio-political contradictions in contemporary society. The works examine Achiampong’s communal and personal heritage, in particular the intersection between pop culture and the postcolonial position.

Achiampong’s most ambitious work to date, Relic Traveller, is a multi-disciplinary multi-site project that builds on themes of lost testimony, fallen empire and displacement by deconstructing the architectures of colonialism. The project is currently formed of two phases comprising original scores, four short films, installations, audio-visual performances and a flag project, elements of which have been displayed atop Somerset House in London, Frieze Sculpture Park, Singapore Biennale, Kunsthal Charlottenborg and as part of Transport for London’s Art on the Underground Westminster Station Commission.

Recent solo exhibitions and performances include Primary, Nottingham; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Studio RCA, London; COPPERFIELD, London; Logan Center Exhibitions, Chicago; and Tate, London. Group exhibitions include Frieze Sculpture Park, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Prospect New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; and the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Italy, 2017. He is currently artist in residence at Somerset House Studios, London.

My career in recent years has entered an exciting trajectory of new projects, collaborations and ideas. However, building on such tremendous energy does take it’s toll, and as my practice grows so do the practical, psychological and financial demands, which is why receiving the Paul Hamlyn Award at this moment could not be more crucial. For the first time in my life I feel like I can breathe. This award brings with it a level of stability I have never known before, which will undoubtedly bear a positive impact on the responsibilities to my children, my artistic practice, not to mention my mental health.
Larry Achiampong

Examples of work

The Last of Us, 2018

The Last of Us, 2018

Blackboard paint and chalk on wooden board, installation view, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, 2018. Photograph by Joe Sarah, courtesy of the artist and Copperfield, London.

Relic 3, 2019

Relic 3, 2019

4K video. 12 minutes, 35 seconds duration (extract 1m). Courtesy of the artist and Copperfield, London. Made possible with funding from Arts Council England.

Sunday's Best, 2016

Sunday's Best, 2016

Still from 4K video, 14 minutes duration (extract 1m 28s). Commissioned by Logan Centre Exhibitions Chicago. Courtesy of the artist and Copperfield, London.

The Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers’ Alliance (Ascension), 2017

The Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers’ Alliance (Ascension), 2017

Applique flag, installation view, Somerset House. Commissioned by Somerset House. Courtesy of the artist and Copperfield, London.