BRENT BIENNIAL

THE FIRST BRENT BIENNIAL - Art presented in public spaces, libraries and streets of Brent

The first BRENT BIENNIAL presents over 20 brand new artworks inspired by the cultures, places and people of Brent.

From sculptures to sound art, large-scale murals to intimate installations, Brent Biennial tells the stories of Brent then, now and tomorrow – and of the people who have been made and shaped by the borough.

The Biennial takes art out of the galleries and museums and into public spaces right across Brent - to be sought out or encountered by chance – on buildings and billboards, in laundrettes and across 10 community and council libraries.

Featuring international and Brent-based artists including Rasheed Araeen, Imran Qureshi, Dawn Mellor, Jude Wacks, Jaykoe, Yasmin Nicholas and Ruth Beale, every work has been specially commissioned by and created for Brent 2020 – and all of them can be seen for free.

In collaborationg with ArtReview, we will also publish a series of exclusive online interviews with artists who have worked with and within the libraries to create new work, including Carl Gabriel, Avant Gardening, John Rogers​, Dawn Mellor​, Imran Qureshi, Rasheed Araeen, Ruth Beale, David Blandy, Brian Griffiths and Dan Mitchell​.

Download the Brent Biennial leaflet and map to plan your visit and have all the projects in your pocket.

Public Programme Partner ArtReview.

Download the Brent Biennial leaflet and map

While visiting during this time of COVID-19, we request that everyone follows some basic guidelines and helps to keep us all safe. Please download the COVID Guidelines below for full details.

COVID Guidelines



The Library at Willesden Green. Photo courtesy of Thierry Bal.

Community and council libraries have collaborated with 10 artists to present new commissions, including an interactive sculpture by Rasheed Araeen at Willesden Green Library, 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.

Soul Refresher, photo courtesy of Thierry Bal

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.

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

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).

Helen Delaney (of Electronic Sheep) outside The Fiddler, Kilburn, Brent © Roy Mehta

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

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

Piece by Yasmin Nicholas. Photo courtesy of Thierry Bal.

Events

BARBY ASANTE

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Declaration of Independence is an ongoing performance/forum by artist Barby Asante, bringing together womxn* to reflect on how the political affects the personal and how the social, cultural implications of historic declarations, policies and legislations Impact on their everyday lives.

Online

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CARL GABRIEL

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

New and existing work by artist Carl Gabriel will be presented at Preston Road Library.

Preston Community Library

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RASHEED ARAEEN

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

The Library at Willesden Green presents two large-scale works by artist Rasheed Araeen responding to its physical spaces and its civic role as a space for research, cultural discourse and exchange

The Library at Willesden Green

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DAN MITCHELL

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Artist Dan Mitchell’s commission takes the form of a large-scale text-based work covering the glass facade of Wembley Public Library housed within the Brent Civic Centre.

Wembley Library

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DAVID BLANDY

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Artist David Blandy has worked with young people from Capital City Academy and Roundwood Youth Centre to reimagine Harlesden 8000 years from now.

Harlesden Library Plus

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DAWN MELLOR

From 19 Sep 2020

The first permanent public artwork by British artist Dawn Mellor: a large-scale mural that celebrates the life of local hero George Michael, who lived and went to school in Kingsbury.

499 Kingsbury Road

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AVANT-GARDENING

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

At Barham Community Library, Avant-Gardening (Polly Brannan and Paul Green) have explored the rich history of the library, park and the wider local area to craft new stories with schools and local communities.

Barham Community Library

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ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (AiR)

n/a - closed to the public

AiR is delighted to be a recipient of the 2020 Culture Fund and will be producing bespoke art projects through collaboration with five Brent schools.

Schools in Brent

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IMRAN QURESHI

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi’s commission sees a series of site-specific installations situated throughout the Library at Ealing Road, bringing his unique visual language to the public spaces of the library.

Ealing Road Library

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JOHN ROGERS

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Through walks and talks that invite local residents to contribute their stories, artist John Rogers has produced an audio-visual portrait of the local area surrounding Kensal Rise Library, drawing on people's lived experiences and memories.

Kensal Rise Library

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JUDE WACKS

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

A photography project by Jude Wacks, documenting local businesses around Brent, celebrating the history, entrepreneurship and community contribution of family firms across the borough.

Online (Instagram)

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ABBAS ZAHEDI

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Soul Refresher is a new commission by London based artist Abbas Zahedi. Through a process of conversations in Brent with invited collaborators the work will explore connections of identity to place and history.

Across the borough

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RUTH BEALE

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

‘The Library as Memorial’ is a new commission for Kilburn Library. Taking the form of a book dedication, in which books themselves become a way to mark and remember.

Kilburn Library

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YASMIN NICHOLAS

22 Sep - 6 Oct 2020

Brent based artist Yasmin Nicholas had developed new collage works, which are presented across the borough in public spaces.

Displayed on over 50 digital billboards, bus stops and posters in launderettes across Brent.

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JAYKOE

1 Oct - 22 Nov 2020

Culture Move (Sampled History) is an exhibition by London-based artist Jaykoe. The show explores the history of sampled music in the borough.

The Exhibition Space Brent Museum and Archives in The Library at Willesden Green

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BRIAN GRIFFITHS

1 Oct - 13 Dec 2020

SELF – CONSCIOUS is conceived as a parallel lending library of selected books paired with sculptures, the work explores the potential and limitations of the unreliable narrator.

Cricklewood Library

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ACTIONSPACE

3 - 4 October 2020, 11:00 - 17:00

A celebration of local artists creating in the artistic hub of Barham Park. Presented by ActionSpace, ACAVA and Barham Park Library.

Barham Park

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THE OCTOBER ANTHROPOLOGIST

3 October 2020, 14:00

Baristas Under Brexit - The October Anthropologist team has conducted research into the lives of Southern and Eastern European immigrants who work as baristas in London cafe.

Online (ZOOM)

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CRISIS

4 Oct - 31 Dec 2020

Culture Click 2020 is a bespoke photography based project, tailored to the needs of homeless and vulnerably-housed residents in Brent to promote transferable skills, build social networks and provide opportunities to creatively participate in the Brent 2020 programme.

Harlesden Town Garden

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PIO ABAD

16 Oct - 13 Dec 2020

Pio Abad’s murals on the Burton Road and Kilburn High Road depict personal, significant and idiosyncratic objects collected from residents that live in the area.

Kilburn High Road and Burton Road

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PAUL PURGAS

22 Oct - 13 Dec 2020

Co-commissioned with Camden Art Centre, artist and musician Paul Purgas presents an audio-visual installation exploring the sonic experimentations of India’s first electronic music studio, established at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India.

Metroland Studios (behind Kilburn Market)

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ADAM FARAH

21 November - 13 December 2020

Artist Adam Farah has been invited to develop a new moving image work. The new work will be a personal portrait of the borough.

Distributed on Kilburn High Road from 21 Nov 2020, online screening with LUX on Thur 26 Nov and online from Fri 27 Nov

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DHELIA SNOUSSI

Zines will be distributed from 1 Nov 2020

Artist Dhelia Snoussi’s commission will support a collective process of alternative place making that will explore how we might begin to think about our areas through our lived experiences, relationships and connections as the basis of a new map.

Online

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INANIMATORZ

2 - 15 Nov 2020

Inanimatorz will creatively combine art, motion and metaphor to convey ideas and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Brent by collaborating with Brent based artists such as poet Amanda Epe.

Metroland Studios (behind Kilburn Market)

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ELECTRONIC SHEEP

28 Nov 2020

The Kilburn Tapestries is a knitted tapestry, based on the untold stories of the Irish community living in and around Kilburn, Brent.

Kilburn (TBC)

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LUCY FINE

28 Nov - 13 Dec 2020

Local artist, designer and fashion lecturer Lucy Fine will present a curated photography exhibition and book documenting the style of Brent’s vibrant residents.

Online

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FOR NOW (HOUSE OF LIFE)

Opens 7 Dec 2020

Willesden Jewish Cemetery has commissioned For Now to create a sound piece as part of the ‘House of Life’ heritage experience opening at the cemetery in November.

Willesden Jewish Cemetery

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YASMIN NICHOLAS: The Children of the Sugar

19 Sep - 13 Dec 2020

Part of Brent Biennial, Brent-based artist Yasmin Nicholas has developed new collage works ‘The Children of the Sugar’ centering personal and collective histories that form Brent’s identity. Hear her recite her four poems that her collages bring together.

Online

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TALK: RUTH BEALE AND BRIAN GRIFFITHS IN CONVERSATION

27 October 2020, 18:30

Join artists Ruth Beale and Brian Griffiths as they discuss their commissions for the Brent Biennial, the role libraries play in community making and the threat they face from austerity.

Online (ZOOM)

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TALK: PIO ABAD AND MINERVA CUEVAS IN CONVERSATION

29 October 2020, 19:00

Join artists Pio Abad and Minerva Cuevas as they discuss their artistic practices and Abad's murals commission for the Brent Biennial.

Online

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SCREENING: ZIGZAG AFTERLIVES: FILM EXPERIMENTS FROM THE 1960S AND 1970S IN INDIA

11 November 2020, 19:00

Cultural theorist and curator Nancy Adajania will present a screening programme of experimental films made in India in the 1960s and 1970s.

Online

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PERFORMANCE: THESE DAYS

12 November 2020, 19:00

Screening of a new performance by fictional character Dr. Robert Laing, investigating the themes and concerns behind artist Dan Mitchell’s commission for the Brent Biennial THESE DAYS EVEN REALITY HAS TO LOOK ARTIFICIAL, a large-scale text installation covering the outside of Wembley Library.

Online

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PODCASTS: AVANT-GARDENING

Mon 16 and Mon 30 November, 10:00

Developed by Avant-Gardening these podcasts include interviews that explore the history of Barham Park and its local communities.

Online (TBC)

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SCREENING: ADAM FARAH, B-SIDES

26 November 2020, 19:00

Developed in partnership with LUX, London artist Adam Farah presents his new film work B-SIDES. ‘B-SIDES…’ is an artwork* produced by free.yard featuring contributions from Adam Farah and Elijah Maja.

Online

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GATHERING: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

12 December 2020, 19:00

Live event celebrating the culmination of workshops led by artist Barby Asante as part of Declaration of Independence, an ongoing performance/forum bringing together womxn* from Brent to reflect on how the political affects the personal and how the social, cultural implications of historic declarations, policies and legislations impact on people’s everyday lives.

Online

Find out more