Art Dubai Residents: Nostalgia through Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah’s eyes 

Gideon Appah works on a new piece in 2020. A.R.M. Holding is the home of Residents and the program is supported by Tashkeel. (Photo courtesy: Lena Kassicieh)
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Updated 24 March 2020

Art Dubai Residents: Nostalgia through Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah’s eyes 

DUBAI: Despite the Art Dubai’s Residents exhibition forced to halt due to safety precautions during the international coronavirus pandemic, six artists from around the world were already hard at work on their new creations before the strict measures came into force in the UAE. 

Gideon Appah, a Ghanaian mixed media artist, paints and collages archival prints, posters and photographs to produce narratives that blur the line of cultural understandings of social relationships.




Gideon Appah works on a new piece in 2020. A.R.M. Holding is the home of Residents and the program is supported by Tashkeel. (Photo courtesy: Lena Kassicieh)

“Since 2018, I’ve been working with more archival photography, old newspaper articles, stills from Ghanaian movies,” explained Appah. “I’m interested in dramatic portraiture, comparing the 70s and 80s to the present.” Activating what he calls a “radical experience,” his body of work, and the paintings created during the residency, play with what the viewer can, or cannot, see through the layered techniques to reveal a “ghetto, low-pop” cultural view of Ghanaian society. “Some are fictional, I’m not too strict, but I want to play along with setting the sensual culture from way back,” said Appah, noting that the material also includes known and anonymous letters and diaries. “When you talk about Africa, people don’t talk about romance, but Africa has a lot to show when it comes to love! Not in the way other cultures show it, but through an old-school style, we do it.”




Gideon Appah works on a new piece in 2020. A.R.M. Holding is the home of Residents and the program is supported by Tashkeel. (Photo courtesy: Lena Kassicieh)

Remaining true to his style, passion for mixed media techniques and basing his real life themes on real life photographs, Appah observed that no artist leaves a residency unchanged. “My paintings speak a lot to scale because in the 21st century, it plays a major part in contemporary art and though not a lot has changed for me, the size of my canvas is challenging me to work in a certain way,” he said, observing that the experience, supported by Tashkeel, Dubai’s multi-disciplinary studio, workspace and gallery, has seen him experiment more with color. But one thing that hasn’t changed is his love, and inadvertent homage, to the innate sensuality of his culture, which he reproduces with abstracted simplicity. “I’m into portraiture — showing, without too much detail, what’s happening in the face, the body, with people’s desires, love, being provocative — but not glamourizing things,” he said. 

*Gideon Appah is represented by Gallery 1957 in Accra, Ghana.


Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

We speak to a hair expert on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care. (File/Instagram)
Updated 37 min 15 sec ago

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

DUBAI: As salon-goers face the closure of spas, salons and barbershops, we speak to Haneen Odeh, owner of UAE’s Snob salon for her take on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care.

Many men and women who rely on salon visits to keep their lengths healthy could be left wondering what to do between now and their next visit to a professional hair stylist. But just as important is what not to do (read: DIY trim job) to avoid ruining your hair and having to impose your own personal period of self-isolation once the pandemic is over due to a ruined haircut you tried to pull off in the bathroom mirror.

Don’t bleach your own hair
“For those who usually go to the salon to dye their lengths blonde, roots may be starting to show now. And while it might be tempting, I would strongly urge to not bleach your own roots. Lightening dark hair is a very complex multi-step process that requires years of experience and professional grade products only available at salons. Bleaching your hair incorrectly might result in burning and damaging your hair. Instead, opt for a root spray such as the L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray. Otherwise, you can always conceal your dark roots with a headband or try wrapping your hair up with a scarf.” 

Do deep conditioning treatments
“Use this time to nourish your hair with a deep conditioning treatment. A lot of people simply apply it in the shower on wet hair for a few minutes and call it a day, but that way means that your lengths aren’t getting the full benefits of the product. Think of hair like a sponge, when it’s wet, it’s already full of water and cannot absorb anything more. So to make sure the product is fully absorbed into your locks, towel dry your hair after shampooing and then apply the treatment. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. You’ll see a huge difference.” May we suggest The Let It Go Circle hair mask from Davines, which is designed to boost hydration and revitalize dry and brittle strands?  

Don’t pick up the scissors
“When you’re bored, it might be tempting to pick up the scissors but, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t trim your own bangs or make any big changes to your hair cut on your own. It will inevitably go wrong and you will end up paying more to get it fixed in the long run. Try out some new hairstyles instead. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube so experiment a little and get your hair professionally cut once it’s safe to do so.”

 Don’t over wash
“The more you wash your strands, the more you strip the scalp of its natural oils, and that in turn makes the scalp produce even more oil, which causes you to wash your hair more often — and the cycle goes on and on. Now is the perfect opportunity to give your lengths a break and cut down on the washing. Your hair might get oily, but once the adjustment period is over, you will notice that it will require less frequent washing.”

Do try scalp treatments
“Too often, we pay attention to the lengths of our hair and give our scalp no attention. But caring for your scalp improves the overall health of your tresses, stimulates hair growth and gets rid of dandruff due to product buildup. Scalp treatments range from serums to salt scrubs, so pick a product that suits your hair needs. Le Labo's basil-scented Scrub Shampoo uses black sea salt and menthol to clear away dirt and cool scalps down.”