A think tank: mind maps, visual references and hand-written notes.


On a cold rainy afternoon, the artist Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom welcomed us in his South London studio, which he built himself in the back of his family house’s garden. The space felt cosy and warm, and my attention was immediately drawn to the numerous sticky notes on the wall, outlining future ideas and expanding current ones. He shared that his mind is running at a hundred miles per hour. While he has a very short attention span, at the same time everything holds his attention, which explains the numerous notes surrounding us that all together encompass something similar to a mind map. Apart from the notes, there were also several posters on the wall, one of which is a Montego Bay tourist poster from the 70’s, designed by the American advertising company Doyle, Dan &Benace. Appau told us that it is one of the things that had remained in his studio for a few years. While he is not quite sure why he feels it is necessary to hold on, he keeps coming back to it and might do something with it in the future.The artist enjoys working at home as the studio is on the other side of the garden and feels like a completely separate space. He shares it with his partner who is also his most trusted critic and advisor. Appau holds her opinion in very high esteem. Since music is so important to the artist’s practice, he listens to “anything, everything and all that’s in between.” There’s usually something more relaxed playing in the background in the mornings, and later on something more upbeat to keep him energised. Appau uses his time in the studio to do admin (that always takes longer than expected) but also, essentially, to generate ideas, gather research and experiment.

All photography by Vanessa Murrell © DATEAGLE ART 2019

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