Brixton might have Bowie but you know what Brent has? George Michael. And now the late singer is being immortalised in mural form in the London borough where he grew up.
Brent is this year’s London Borough of Culture, and the mural is part of the first Brent Biennial. British artist Dawn Mellor has been commissioned to create a nine-metre high mural of George Michael in Kingsbury, which is near where the Wham! star grew up and went to school. The painting has been co-commissioned by Brent Borough of Culture 2020, Studio Voltaire and Create London.
The mural is one of 23 artworks which will be installed in spaces such as barbers and laundrettes, as well as in libraries and on billboards across the borough. Artists involved are a mix of international names and local Brent-based practitioners, including Rasheed Araeen, Imran Qureshi, Dhelia Snoussi, Jude Wacks, Jaykoe, Yasmin Nicholas and Ruth Beale.
Brent Biennial aims to explore the area’s history, culture and people (that’s where George comes in). As well as murals and installations, there will be a programme of walking tours, talks and workshops, which will be announced in early September.
Justine Simons, deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries, said: ‘Our city is overflowing with creativity, and public art is a fantastic way to showcase it. Brent Biennial will give artists a public canvas and bring the stories of our local communities to life.’
So if you do find yourself wandering around Brent in the next few weeks, look out for a massive painting of George Michael’s face. Though given George’s luscious Princess Di ’do in the preparatory sketches, it’s sort of a shame it’s not going to be in neighbouring Barnet.
In other news, Somerset House is unveiling two new outdoor installations.