The second edition of the Brent Biennial, In the House of my Love, brings together artists and community groups whose works explore the many meanings of homemaking. It asks how, and why, the act of making home can be a form of resistance and survival within the context of hostile environments—including those of racism, homophobia, ableism, climate catastrophe and political austerity.
It takes place in three cluster locations in the south of the borough – Kilburn, Willesden and Harlesden – and presents 12 artists’ projects, sited in 10 different venues and public spaces, open and free for audiences to visit throughout the summer months.
- In Metroland Studios in Kilburn, Rebecca Bellantoni presents the second chapter of her on-going trilogy project C.R.Y: Concrete Regenerative Yearnings. Comprising a commissioned new film and installation, You have any peace for me? reflects on specific experiences of the hostile environment and the trauma that it inflicts, alongside the dissolution of a community Bellantoni was a part of when growing up, who had embraced Rastafari as both a spiritual way of life and a political lens through which to view the world.
- At Newman Catholic College in Harlesden, Zinzi Minott presents her durational body of work Fi Dem, an exploration into Blackness and diaspora that results in a new video work being made annually on the anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking in the UK, on 22nd June 1948. The work takes Windrush Day as a moment to focus on those who move and who have been moved, those who stay, those who cannot leave and all of the slippages in between. Fi Dem was first released on 22nd June 2018, and to date comprises five moving image works; all of which are presented for the first time together in Brent as a five-channel video and sound installation. Alongside Fi Dem I-V, for the closing weekend of the Biennial, Minott will present an iteration of Black on Black, a solo dance performance that explores Queerness, Blackness and the body as an archive.
- Shenece Oretha presents In Counter Harmony at The Tin Tabernacle, a church made from corrugated metal that was erected in Kilburn in the mid-19th century. Oretha’s commissioned installation spotlights the sounds and stories of multifunctional community spaces, including those of the tabernacle’s past, of other spaces in Brent and those of the artist’s own personal history within London community halls.
- Katarzyna Perlak presents a series of Pajaki sculptures – traditional Polish paper chandeliers, hung to protect the home – at St Matthew’s Church in Willesden. The Pajakis are shown alongside My Grandma Doilies, a series of tablecloths made by, and inherited from, the artist’s late grandmother which have been hand-printed with family photographs and hand-embroidered by the artist with phrases and motifs that reflect on matrilineal inheritance, grief and queer identity.
Led by Eliel Jones, Curator, in close collaboration with a curatorial committee consisting of artists Adam Farah, Jamila Prowse and Jerwood Bursaries 2019 artist Abbas Zahedi, the Brent Biennial 2022 pays homage to the many histories and legacies of migration that have made Brent both the second most ethnically diverse borough in London, and a local authority with one of the highest numbers of first-generation migrants in the country.
It seeks to honour the long-standing systems of support, safety and hospitality that are currently present in Brent, revisiting other systems that are close to the borough’s past and working together to visualise and conceive ways forward. In addition to the 12 artists’ project, three additional community-led commissions – with Asian Women’s Resource Centre, SUFRA Foodbank and Kitchen and Young Roots – will extend beyond the exhibition dates.
The Biennial continues until 11 September 2022.
Find out more
Read about Survey II, here.
Read about Live Work Fund, here.
Read about Jerwood Bursaries 2019, here.
Read about Jerwood Bursaries 2020-21, here.