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Brent 2020: The first Brent Biennial art festival to launch in September

PUBLISHED: 12:21 12 August 2020

Avant Gardening. Picture: Paul Green

Avant Gardening. Picture: Paul Green

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Brent 2020 teams have reimagined how to bring the borough’s rich culture to the public during the coronavirus pandemic and created a festival of art.

Brian Griffiths,BILL MURRAY: A story of distance, size and sincerity, 2015. Commissioned by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Picture: John McKenzie. Image courtesy the Artist and GaleriaLuisaStrinBrian Griffiths,BILL MURRAY: A story of distance, size and sincerity, 2015. Commissioned by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Picture: John McKenzie. Image courtesy the Artist and GaleriaLuisaStrin

The first Brent Biennial is taking place in public spaces, libraries and streets from September 19 to December 13.

It includes 23 new commissions and projects that will be presented across the borough and features international and Brent-based artists such as Jaykoe and Imran Qureshi. Curators and producers have worked with Lois Stonock - artistic director in the team celebrating Brent as the London Borough of Culture this year, Brent 2020 - to develop a programme that highlights Brent’s history, cultures and people, spanning sculpture, installation, murals, film and performance.

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Ms Stonock said: “We’ve created the Brent Biennial as a platform for the visual arts in Brent that can develop over the coming years as one of the legacies of Brent 2020.

David Blandy's The World After, 2019. Illustration by Wumi OlaosebikanDavid Blandy's The World After, 2019. Illustration by Wumi Olaosebikan

“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.”

Community and council libraries have collaborated with 10 artists to present new commissions, and guided walking tours will be held during the 12 weeks of the Biennial, as well as a programme of artist talks and workshops. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Kilburn Street Festival and Culture Capital Show at Wembley SSE Arena is not taking place. However No Bass Like Home, celebrating the borough’s reggae culture, will be offered virtually.

Set up by Sadiq Khan in 2017, the London Borough of Culture project shines a light on the character and diversity of the boroughs. Justine Simons, deputy mayor for culture and creative industries at City Hall, said: “Brent Biennial will give artists a public canvas and bring the stories of our local communities to life.

“It will create a lasting legacy for the borough and is a great example of why the mayor created the London Borough of Culture.”


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