A Public Art Project Near London’s Grenfell Tower Presents the Spiritual Work of Artist Khadija Saye, Who Died in the Tragic Fire

See work by the late Gambian-British artist now on view in Notting Hill.

Khadija Saye, in this space we breathe, part of Breath is Invisible, 2020, Installation view, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo: Jeff Moore.
Khadija Saye, installation view of "in this space we breathe," part of the exhibition series "Breath is Invisible," 2020. Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye, photoby Jeff Moore.

A new public art exhibition in London is remembering the work of Khadija Saye, an artist who died in the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Works by the artist have been installed in Notting Hill, near the site of the fire-gutted tower block where a 24-year-old Saye and 71 other victims lost their lives in the blaze. 

Saye, whose work was featured in the 2017 Venice Biennale’s Diaspora Pavilion, often explored her own Gambian-British identity and the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practices. Nine large-scale prints of her photographs are now being shown in the outdoor exhibition on the façade of 236 Westbourne Grove, through August 7.

“The series was created from a personal need for spiritual grounding after experiencing trauma,” Saye wrote of the works in a catalogue before she died. “The search for what gives meaning to our lives and what we hold onto in times of despair and life changing challenges.”

Khadija Saye, Andichurai(2017). Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye.

Khadija Saye, Andichurai (2017). Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye.

The show is the first of three site-specific exhibitions spearheaded by art collector Eiesha Bharti Pasricha and curated by Sigrid Kirk as part of a series titled “Breath Is Invisible,” which aims to present work that addresses issues of social inequality and injustice (through October 9).

Saye’s work will be replaced with new commissions by artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, and Joy Gregory later this summer. Portfolio sets of Saye’s silkscreen prints will be sold to raise money for the program as well as the artist’s estate.

See some more views of Saye’s work below.

Khadija Saye, Tééré(2017). Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye.

Khadija Saye, Tééré (2017). Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye.

Khadija Saye, Kurus(2018). Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye.

Khadija Saye, Kurus (2018). Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye.

Khadija Saye, in this space we breathe, part of Breath is Invisible, 2020, Installation view, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo: Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, installation view of “in this space we breathe,” part of the exhibition series “Breath is Invisible,” 2020. Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye, photo by Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, in this space we breathe, part of Breath is Invisible, 2020, Installation view, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo: Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, installation view of “in this space we breathe,” part of the exhibition series “Breath is Invisible,” 2020. Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye, photo by Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, in this space we breathe, part of Breath is Invisible, 2020, Installation view, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo: Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, installation view of “in this space we breathe,” part of the exhibition series “Breath is Invisible,” 2020. Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye, photo by Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, in this space we breathe, part of Breath is Invisible, 2020, Installation view, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo: Jeff Moore.

Khadija Saye, installation view of “in this space we breathe,” part of the exhibition series “Breath is Invisible,” 2020. Image courtesy of the estate of Khadija Saye, photo by Jeff Moore.


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