Larry Achiampong

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at the Cunard Building. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at St George’s Hall, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at St. John's Gardens, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Rob Battersby

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at Exchange Flags, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Rob Battersby

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at the Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and Saint Nicholas, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at Edmund Gardner Vessel, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Rob Battersby

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at Central Library, Picton Reading Room Dome, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Rob Battersby

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at Liverpool ONE, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Rob Battersby

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at Dr Martin Luther King Jr. building, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at St. Luke’s, Bombed Out Church, Liverpool Biennial 2021. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong, Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance, 2021. Installation view at the Cunard Building. Photography: Mark McNulty

Larry Achiampong (b. 1984, London, UK) lives and works in London, UK. Achiampong's solo and collaborative projects employ imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity. Drawing on his Ghanaian roots, his works examine his communal and personal heritage – in particular, the intersection between the postcolonial position and pop culture. Through his performances, he investigates ‘the self’ as a fiction, devising alter-egos to point at divided selves. Recent exhibitions and commissions include Art on the Underground, UK (2019); Somerset House, UK (2019/2018); Diaspora Pavilion: 57th Venice Biennale, Italy (2017); and Tate Britain/Modern, UK (2013/2010).

Project Description

Larry Achiampong presented a series of eight different Pan African flags, exhibited across ten locations, on buildings and streets throughout Liverpool city centre. With some designs featuring 54 stars that represent the 54 countries of Africa, the flags evoke solidarity and collective empathy – while some of the locations speak to Liverpool’s connection with the enslavement of West Africans as part of the transatlantic slave trade. The colours of the flags reflect Pan African symbolism: green, black and red represent Africa’s land, people and the struggles the continent has endured respectively, while yellow-gold represents a new dawn and prosperity. Achiampong has configured these colours into icons that are suggestive of community, motion and the human figure in ascension.

For Liverpool Biennial 2021, four of the artist’s flags from his original series were shown - Ascension, Community, Motion and Squadron - as well as four new flag designs that generate new symbolic constitutions;

  • What I hear I Keep – related to the act of sending and receiving messages that resonate.
  • Dualities – related to the connection between those born within the African continent and those of the African Diaspora.
  • Bringers of Life – related to the eternal reverence of the elements that bring and fortify life.
  • Mothership – in praise, honour and respect of the centre of community; Black Womxn.

Supported by The African Arts Trust. 'What I Hear I Keep' was commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion.

Our full exhibition programme is now closed, but visitors can still enjoy art in person at FACT and Bluecoat until August & September. Plan your visit here.