Harlesden High Street
Note: This Commissioned Project runs between 21 July – 11 September only.
Opening times: Saturday 12–6pm
Thurs, Fri and Sun by appointment visit Harlesden High Street’s website for booking details
Harlesden High Street
57 High St
DUB INNA BABYLON
Harlesden High Street presents Dub Inna Babylon, a group exhibition reflecting on the cultural and aesthetic legacies of music in Harlesden. Featuring works by Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy, Ocean Loren-Baulcombe Toppin, Paulette Coke, Andre Morgan, Amanda Ali, Andrew Pierre Hart, Ruby Eve Dickson and Anna Sebastian.
Inspired in part by Harlesden High Street’s neighbour, Hawkeye Records Store, an iconic music venue marking its 45th year on the high street this year, the exhibition will take the site as a starting point to celebrate the history of Harlesden as a microcosm for Black music, and a space where various Afro-Caribbean diasporic communities have made home.
Located just around the corner from Harlesden High Street, Hawkeye comprises a record store and bakery, paralleling the gallery’s twinning with a bakery of its own. The exhibition transforms the gallery into a re-imagined record store from the perspectives of artists living and working in the borough. The two sites become tethered, and Harlesden High Street becomes the embodiment of the contemporary afterlives of Reggae and Black music more broadly in Harlesden, as a result of spaces like Hawkeye. The exhibition celebrates the ways in which music culture was and is a means for making home, and for finding community and connection across cultures and generations.
Harlesden High Street was founded with the mission of facilitating access between experimental/outsider artists and the traditional gallery system. They host several spaces across London exhibiting contemporary art by local and international artists, centering work by people of colour. In addition to their exhibition venues, they host a cultural outreach programme with an aim to reach audiences in ungentrified neighbourhoods who might be less likely to engage with typical gallery programming.
‘Dub Inna Babylon‘ was presented as part of the Brent Biennial 2022, titled ‘In the House of my Love’. The second edition of the Biennial asked 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. The Brent Biennial 2022 was curated by Eliel Jones, in collaboration with a curatorial committee comprised of artists Adam Farah, Abbas Zahedi and Jamila Prowse. Find out more by visiting the Archive.