Khadija Saye’s large-scale prints are the first of three public installations addressing social inequality in west London
Nine large-scale prints by the celebrated artist who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire are now on display from 7 July to 7 August in Notting Hill.
- Jyni Ong
- 8 July 2020
A new public art project Breath is Invisible launched yesterday (7 July) in London’s Notting Hill showcasing the works of artist Khadija Saye, the young Gambian-British artist who sadly lost her life in the catastrophic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 at the age of 24. The public installation is the first of three site-specific exhibitions for the project, importantly, addressing issues of social inequality and injustice.
Following from Saye’s exhibition, later this summer, artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Joy Gregory will present newly commissioned pieces made in partnership with the local community in the same area where the tragic Grenfell Tower fire took place. Born out of increasing socioeconomic inequalities in the west London area, Breath is Invisible teams up young creatives with local arts organisations.
Established by patron and businesswoman Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, the project is curated by Sigrid Kirk and was launched by the Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for justice, David Lammy, who also knew Saye. Additionally, The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme launched yesterday, a programme aiming to address the lack of diversity in the UK’s arts sector by offering opportunities to young people from BIPOC backgrounds and disadvantaged communities across the country.
Saye’s exhibition is on display from now until 7 August across the front of 236 Westbourne Grove. It features nine large-scale prints of the artist’s most acclaimed works and explores the migration routes of traditional Gambian spiritual works. The artist said of the powerful artworks: “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.” Editions of Saye’s prints are available for sale with all proceeds going to The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme as well as the Estate of Khadija Saye.
After Saye’s exhibition, artist Martyn Ware is showcasing an aural and visual 3D installation from 11 August to 4 September. Based on Curtis Mayfield’s song To Be Invisible, the soundscape responds to current events associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and overlays sounds of the city with a narration of Mayfield’s evocative lyrics.
Following this, Joy Gregory will exhibit her research into the history of botany between the 17th and 19th Centuries, from 8 September to 9 October later this year. She unveils how plants we think of as “native” to this country have their origins elsewhere and investigates their transport routes coinciding with international trade routes. Working with local young people from The Harrow Club, the collaborators collected samples from community gardens, parks and pavements in west London to produce the prints and cyanotypes that will go on display.
Toor-Toor, 2018, Khadija Saye, Image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.