Newly acquired portraits of Freddie Mercury, Alex Scott and Marcus Rashford from the National Portrait Gallery Collection will go on public display for the first time in a new exhibition People Powered: From the ground up at Brent Museum and Archives (6 September – 3 December 2021), funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund. The exhibition, which explores the people, stories and industries connected to Wembley Stadium and the surrounding area, is part of a partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and Brent Museum and Archives, which will see a series of exhibitions, activities and events taking place in the borough this autumn.
In From the ground up local filmmakers Turab Shah and Arwa Aburawa and Brent-based young people, delve into the lives of those who have worked at Wembley Stadium or enjoyed career defining moments there. Alongside the new acquisitions, the exhibition will include portraits of Kanya King, Rachel Yankey and Bobby Moore and showcase posters, souvenirs and archive photographs from the stadium over the years. Visitors are encouraged to leave their own Wembley memories on social media or in the exhibition itself. There will also be a programme of photography workshops for adults and children, and sessions for schools.
The partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and Brent Museum and Archives also includes a new schools outreach programme, Faces and Places, in which a specialist team of artists and historians will work with schools across Brent during the autumn term to explore portraits of inspirational people connected to the local borough in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection.
The season continues into the winter with a second exhibition, Icons of Colour: Portraits of Brent’s Change Makers opening at Brent Museum and Archives in December 2021. The exhibition will showcase local legends through works from the National Portrait Gallery, new portraits acquired for Brent Museum and Archives and creative content developed during Brent 2020. It will also include the first public display of the National Portrait Gallery’s newly commissioned portrait of Zadie Smith by Nigerian born artist Toyin Ojih Odutola.