The London Borough of Culture was a key year for platforming artists and creatives from Brent to wider audiences. Throughout 2020, as well as delivering a programme for the year of culture, we established the Brent Artist Network, and supported artists with grants to continue their practice over lockdown. Now we are excited to offer a residency scheme for visual artists, including free studio space, at Metroland Studio in Kilburn.
The residencies form part of Brent Council and Metroland Cultures' commitment to support and develop provision for visual artists in Brent and consists of free studio space and the opportunity to take part in an open studio event in July 2021. These residencies fulfill one of the key commitments of the legacy of Brent 2020 - to make new places for artists and art in Brent.
The first round of residencies runs from November 2020 to September 2021, and was offered through an open call process.
We are excited to announce that Culture Art Society (CAS) is in residence at Metroland Studios through a new partnership between Metroland Cultures and The Showroom. This inaugural residency in the series is focused on creating support structures for new curatorial research, with a focus on developing sustainable frameworks for CAS's work for the public.
The current residents are:
Taymah Anderson (graphic artist)
Kes-Tchaas Eccleston (multidisciplinary artist)
Adam Farah (artist and composter)
Tom James (artist and writer)
Smriti Mehra (video artist and storyteller)
Yasmin Nicholas (multidisciplinary artist)
Zeinab Saleh (artist)
Culture Art Society (CAS) (interdisciplinary research platform)
Pesolife Art Collective (visual art and records collective)
Betty Leung (visual artist)
Antia Safowaa (artist)
Freedom. Growth. This will be an incubator for great discoveries. Working in my hometown near family, friends and community will only make my work stronger, as their voices propel me forward.
I am thrilled to be able to have this space. I think with great power comes responsibility, and so I feel the need to be able to give back to not just Brent but those who reside in the borough. And use the space and what I create in the space to uplift those around me.
It means people trust and believe in me. I cannot sum up in words my connection to Brent, which exists on various levels of my existence and life experience. It is my hope that this is more clearly expressed through some of the work I make!
It’s amazing! I’ve lived in and around Kilburn and Cricklewood for 5 years - and in all that time I’ve had to commute miles to find affordable studio space. At the moment I’m cycling to Hackney every day! So to have one on my doorstep, which I can use to fit around childcare, is going to be life-changing.
As a lifelong Brent resident and Kilburn local, I’m excited to be given this opportunity to develop and share my creative practice Lin Kam Art in the heart of vibrant Kilburn High Road.
Having moved to the UK from India three years ago, this residency gives me the opportunity to develop and establish my work in a city that I am still trying to make home. The most invaluable opportunity it offers me is to become part of a larger community in the neighborhood that I have inhabited since moving to London. I look forward to making work that will nurture and grow my relationship with this locality and its people.
Being able to work in the heart of a massive community in Kilburn let alone Brent, is an honour. Especially being near a market that I went to since I was a child, which also gives me an added lens into different cultures that will help me try and get some of the community involved in projects, as I truly believe more art is needed in Brent.
It’s amazing to have a space where I can work, thrive and feel supported in, it’s meant that I can develop my practice further than ever.
Having a space at the studios allows us to work on our practices, in the same borough our ideas and collective were formed!
Pesolife Art Collective (Kalina Blaize, Nathaniel Telemaque and Secaina Hudson)
At the core of our platform is a commitment to working with and highlighting the wide-ranging intellectual and artistic labour of African thinkers. Moreover, initiating the means through which critical arts education as well as cultural activism is made accessible. Our wide-ranging work explores contemporary visual culture, Blackness, radical resistance, and developing new methodologies for working with archives to affect and re-inform engagements with contemporary relations.
We are deeply grateful and honoured for the opportunity to work with The Showroom, Metroland Cultures, Brent Council, and the borough’s constituencies. With the residency and the space afforded, we are excited to expand our digital archival research and community participatory framework, to be materialised through exhibitions and collaborative public programmes ranging from reading groups to film screenings, and to the many more exchanges and spaces we hope to convene.
Kilburn-based artist Betty Leung's work is an ongoing investigation into human behaviour, asking the question: "why do we do the things we do?" through sculpture, installation, photography and video, her practice is concerned with social, economic and political complexities in the context of human behaviour, technology and material. The themes of identity, self-representation, the body and labour can be understood in the context of feminist, postcolonial and critical theory.
My practise primarily focuses on examining under-documented cultural moments with the purpose of preserving them. Re-imagining these key times is pinnacle to my work in which I use a range of mediums including film, reflective writing, personal archives and new media technologies. Being born and raised in Wembley and seeing the landscape change significantly over the years has made the preservation aspect of my practise all the more important. I am currently working on a multi-screen installation that explores migration through accounts of Ghanaians who moved to London in the 1980s and 1990s.