Art Community Culture Installation News

New public artwork inspired by Windrush generation unveiled in London

Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission

OPDC’s Annual Art Commission photo-tapestries celebrate London’s largest and most vibrant industrial area, Park Royal

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) recently unveiled the winning entry of its Annual Art Commission, The Park Royals by visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah.

Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission
Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission

In the form of two large jacquard woven photo-tapestries, reworked from a series of photographs of 22 residents and workers from Park Royal, the artwork intricately weaves together the lives, stories and struggles of two generations who make up the area’s industrial heart.

Park Royal, located in northwest London, is today home to a thriving community of makers and creators, supporting around 43,000 jobs and supplying one-third of all food consumed in the capital.

Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission
Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission

Born and bred in Park Royal, Faisal is a descendant of the Windrush generation. He studied art at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art, and his work has been exhibited internationally.

Now officially on display at Brent Civic Centre, The Park Royals, produced by Create London and created in collaboration with the local community, pays homage to London’s diversity as we mark Black History Month and paves the way for Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture in 2020.

Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission
Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission

Commenting on the unveiling of his artwork, Faisal said“It’s an honour to be chosen for the OPDC Annual Art Commission. My aim with The Park Royals was to pay homage to the Windrush generation, who were integral to creating the community where I grew up and making it the great place it is today. Working with local people was really important to me and helped with the process of creating the artwork, making sure that it was their stories that were embodied in the work.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in The Park Royals and for the support of OPDC and hope that Londoners come to see the community’s work for themselves.”

Loleta Cameron, pictured in The Park Royals, added“Faisal embodies the talent and creativity of young people in Brent and continues to champion and support the success of local people. I am incredibly proud to be both a part of this project and the community of Harlesden and Park Royal.”

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said:“Faisal Abdu’Allah’s work is a real celebration of Park Royal and a fitting winner of OPDC’s art commission. London’s diversity is our strength and this artwork tells our story brilliantly. I’m delighted that it’s on display ahead of Brent’s year as our London Borough of Culture.”

Liz Peace, Chairman of OPDC, commented“Local communities are at the heart of Old Oak and Park Royal’s regeneration and are integral to shaping its future. We are delighted to unveil Faisal’s artwork, which brilliantly captures the area’s rich heritage and diversity.

“Through the Annual Art Commission, we are showcasing the depth and breadth of artistic talent that exists, helping aspiring artists to have a platform. We were impressed with the high calibre of entries received and hope that the scheme continues to inspire artists and communities to engage with this once-in-a-lifetime regeneration opportunity for London.”

The Annual Art Commission is a flagship project of OPDC’s Great Place Scheme, an ambitious three-year cultural programme being delivered with local people, businesses and organisations in Old Oak and Park Royal. The programme aims to uncover, connect and showcase the culture, creativity and heritage of London’s largest and most vibrant industrial area, Park Royal.

Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Great Place Scheme is delivering £1.5 million worth of community-led art, culture and heritage activities across Old Oak and Park Royal.

The Old Oak and Park Royal development are one of the largest regeneration opportunities in Europe, transforming an area of brownfield land three times the size of Canary Wharf into a new sustainable and inclusive community. Engagement through art is another way of encouraging the local community to help shape future regeneration plans for the area.

Faisal’s artwork will be on public display at Brent Civic Centre from until the new year.

Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission
Visual artist and Harlesden-based barber Faisal Abdu’Allah attends the unveiling of his winning entry (‘The Park Royals’) for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Annual Art Commission

For more information about the Annual Art Commission, visit OPDC

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