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Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture presents the first BRENT BIENNIAL opening this weekend

Rasheed Araeen, Zero to Infinity at The Library at Willesden Green Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture Photo © Thierry Bal
Rasheed Araeen, Zero to Infinity at The Library at Willesden Green Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture Photo © Thierry Bal

Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture presents the first BRENT BIENNIAL, taking place in public spaces, libraries and streets across the Borough from 19th September – 13th December 2020.

The programme includes 23 new commissions presented in locations across the Borough and features international and Brent based artists, exploring Brent’s history, cultures, and people, spanning sculpture, installation, murals, film, and performance.

Imran Qureshi, paper installation at Ealing Road Library Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture. Photo © Thierry Bal FAD magazine
Imran Qureshi, paper installation at Ealing Road Library Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture. Photo © Thierry Bal

The featured artists are:

Pio Abad: Kilburn High Road
Barby Asante: Gatherings online and in Brent
Rasheed Araeen: The Library at Willesden Green
Ruth Beale: Kilburn Library
David Blandy: Harlesden Library Plus
Helen Delany and Brenda Aherne: Electronic Sheep: Kilburn
Adam Farah: Screening and distributed across the Borough
Lucy Fine: Online

David Blandy, The World After, at Harlesden Library Plus Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture Photo © Thierry Bal
David Blandy, The World After, at Harlesden Library Plus Part of the Brent Biennial, Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture Photo © Thierry Bal

FOR NOW For House of Life: Willesden Jewish Cemetery
Carl Gabriel Preston Community Library
Avant Gardening: Barham Park Library
Brian Griffiths: Cricklewood Library
Jaykoe The Library at Willesden Green
Dawn Mellor: Kingsbury Library and Kingsbury Road
Dan Mitchell: Wembley Library
Yasmin Nicholas: Across the borough
The October Anthropologist : Online
Paul Purgas: Metroland Studios
Imran Qureshi: Ealing Road Library
John Rogers: Kensal Rise Library
Dhelia Snoussi: Kilburn
Jude Wacks: Online
Abbas Zahedi: Across the Borough

Community and council libraries have collaborated with 10 artists to present new commissions, including an interactive sculpture by Rasheed Araeen at The Library at Willesden Green, a parallel lending library of selected books paired with sculptures by Brian Griffiths at Cricklewood Library, and a large-scale twisted paper installation by Imran Qureshi at Ealing Road Library.

Dawn Mellor, George Michael TV Outside, 2020. Photo © Benedict Johnson
Dawn Mellor, George Michael TV Outside, 2020. Photo © Benedict Johnson

Co-commissioned by Studio Voltaire and CREATE London with Brent 2020, British artist Dawn Mellor has created a 9-metre high mural titled George Michael TV Outside – celebrating the life of local hero George Michael, who lived and went to school in the area.

Dawn Mellor, George Michael TV Outside, 2020. Photo © Benedict Johnson
Dawn Mellor, George Michael TV Outside, 2020. Photo © Benedict Johnson

Supported by Art Fund, new commissions by Barby Asante, Adam Farah, Yasmin Nicolas, Dhelia Snoussi and Abbas Zahedi explore personal and collective stories that have shaped Brent’s identity as a place where self-organising is intimately linked to care, community building, and resistance. Events and artworks will centre on the relevance and connection of histories through performance, conversation and film.

The programme features ambitious co-commissions with leading arts organisations: Camden Art Centre (Paul Purgas); CREATE London (Pio Abad); LUX (Adam Farah), Studio Voltaire and CREATE London (Dawn Mellor).

2020 Culture Fund artists Helen Delany and Brenda Aherne: Electronic Sheep, Lucy Fine, FOR NOW for House of Life, Jaykoe, The October Anthropologist, and Jude Wacks will showcase new work and projects.

Additionally, Culture Fund programmes and events presented by ActionSpace, AiR, INANIMATORZ and Crisis will take place, highlighting their work with artists and communities in Brent.

A team of curators and producers have worked with Lois Stonock, Artistic Director of Brent 2020, to develop the programme.

Lois Stonock, Artistic Director, Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture, said:

“We’ve created the Brent Biennial as a platform for the visual arts in Brent that can develop over the coming years and as one of the legacies of Brent 2020. Brent’s creativity lies in its communities, in the streets and its civic spaces. We see the Biennial as an opportunity to shine a light on the rich stories, ideas and voices that reside in the borough and also a unique context for artists outside of the borough to work in. Our hope is it reflects the true diversity of London with all its energy and talent, and shows how art can be part of our everyday lives.”

Guided walking tours will be held during the 12 weeks of the Biennial, as well as a public programme of artist talks and workshops, some presented in partnership with ArtReview. An illustrated guide will be available to visitors to download from the Brent 2020 website or to pick up from venues during the Biennial.
For full details brent2020.co.uk

Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture
Brent is The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture for 2020. Our programme will explore the stories, art and emotions that hold life in Brent together, uncovering and celebrating the borough’s untold tales and unheard voices. We are the home of Zadie Smith, reggae, English football and its captains. We have London’s oldest road, the biggest Hindu Temple outside India, the Kiln Theatre and Mahogany Carnival Design. We are where city becomes Metroland; where roads, waterways and railways cross; where outsiders fight for their place. We are Jayaben Desai, George Michael, Cyrille Regis, Keith Moon, Rachel Yankey, Janet Kay, Twiggy, Bob Marley and Trojan Records. It is from this alchemy that our year of culture comes. Brent is more than a borough of culture: This is the Borough of Cultures.

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