Khadija Saye, artist and Grenfell victim, honoured
A new public art project, Breath is Invisible, launched this week with works by Khadija Saye, a young Gambian-British artist, activist and carer who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, aged just 24.
Despite her young age, Saye achieved recognition as a hugely talented artist – she was honoured to be the youngest exhibitor in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale – showing extraordinary promise for the future.
Saye’s is the first of three-site specific exhibitions that comprise the project. in this space we breathe (7 July – 7 August) features nine large-scale prints of her most celebrated works shown across the façade of 236 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, near the site where Saye, her mother and 70 other victims lost their lives.
Exploring the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practices and her own identity, heritage and mixed faith background, Saye said of the works, “The series was created from a personal need for spiritual grounding after experiencing trauma. The search for what gives meaning to our lives and what we hold onto in times of despair and life changing challenges.”
Portfolio sets of Saye’s silkscreen self-portraits will be available for sale, with the proceeds going to the Estate of Khadija Saye and The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme, which aims to address the lack of diversity in the UK arts sector by providing opportunities for young people from BAME and disadvantaged communities across the UK. In both her life and work Saye was socio-politically engaged, and she dedicated herself to issues of social justice and educational inequality.
The brainchild of patron and businesswoman Eiesha Bharti Pasricha and curated by Sigrid Kirk, co-founder of the Association of Women in the Arts, Breath is Invisible was born out of an urgency to address issues of social inequality and injustice.
Working collaboratively with young creatives and arts organisations in the area, Breath is Invisible acknowledges art’s ability to say things we cannot express with words. Artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Joy Gregory will present new commissions created in partnership with the local community later this summer.
For more information visit www.breathisinvisible.com.