Larry Achiampong: Wayfinder - Installation view (12)

Larry Achiampong: Wayfinder - Installation view (12)
Archive Shelf Location BALTIC2023M
Publication Date 20 May 2023

Larry Achiampong: Wayfinder (installation view)

Baltic presents the first major solo exhibition by British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong. Working in film, sculpture, installation, sound, collage, music and performance, Achiampong draws on his shared and personal heritage to explore class, gender, the intersection between popular culture and the residues of colonisation. His work examines digital identities and constructions of ‘the self’, offering multiple perspectives that reveal the deeply entrenched inequalities in our society.

The exhibition in our Level 3 gallery includes the commissioned feature-length film Wayfinder (2022) which follows a young girl’s intrepid journey across England, from Hadrian’s Wall in the North to Margate in the South, and the people and places she encounters. Set in a pandemic, Achiampong’s most ambitious film to date considers class and economic exclusion, belonging and displacement, cultural heritage and the meaning of home. Other works include the largest UK presentation of the artist’s multi-disciplinary Relic Traveller project (2017–ongoing) alongside sculpture, photographs, video and a gaming room on Level 2.

This exhibition has been organised by Turner Contemporary with MK Gallery and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. The film Wayfinder has been commissioned by Turner Contemporary with MK Gallery and Baltic.


Set in a pandemic, Wayfinder follows a young girl, The Wanderer, played by Perside Rodrigues, on a journey across England, from Hadrian’s Wall to Margate. A road movie of sorts, it is divided into six chapters, which explore issues of class, racism and gentrification, diasporic identity and the meaning of home.

The six chapters have voice-overs by five Black women and girls, written in collaboration with writer Aide Amoako. These narratives combine poetic reflections with real accounts, some of which draw on Achiampong’s own autobiography.

Travelling the country from north to south, The Wanderer encounters many different places, people, stories and situations. She begins her journey at Hadrian’s Wall and is seen off by a Griot – an important figure in West African culture whose role is to preserve oral histories. In Wellingborough, she meets Anita Neil OLY, the first female Black British Olympian. In London, The Wanderer visits JMW Turner’s paintings at the National Gallery, feeling the weight of Britain’s colonial past as she walks the empty halls at night. From there she travels east to the iconic Bethnal Green café E. Pellicci and on to Purfleet in Essex, eventually reaching the sea at Margate.

The Wanderer was inspired by Achiampong’s sister: ‘although two years younger than me,’ he says, ‘she would travel to far off places way before me.’ Through The Wanderer’s intrepid journey, the film builds a conversation about freedom to travel on one hand, and displacement of communities on the other. It asks us – who feels that they belong and what is the meaning of home?

Credit Reece Straw
Copyright © 2023 Baltic
Format JPEG
Related Artist Larry Achiampong
Months May 2023, June 2023, July 2023, August 2023, September 2023, October 2023
Keywords Home (concept), Displacement, Belonging, Pandemic, economic exclusion, Colonisation, Gender, Race (concept), Class (concept), Video Games, Popular culture, Heritage, Personal history, Digital identity, Social Inequality
Related Event Larry Achiampong: Wayfinder (20 May – 29 Oct 2023)
Related Gallery BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

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