Lisha rooney image

Lisha Rooney

Khadija Saye's "In This Space We Breathe"

Gallery: 236 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill

Timing: showing until Aug 7, 2020

Khadija Saye’s large-scale wet plate collodion tintypes collectively titled ‘in this space we breathe’ exhibited on the facade of 236 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, about a mile from Grenfell Tower, where Saye lived and tragically died at only 24 years old. Shown until 7 Aug, the work is part of the @breathisinvisible project, launched to address issues of social inequality and injustice. The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme launched simultaneously, with an aim 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.

Saye – a Gambian-British artist also known as Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye whose warmth and kindness has been written about by so many – dedicated herself to issues of social justice and educational inequality. Within her work – which was exhibited in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale – she explored identity, heritage, and her mixed faith background. Her mother, who died with her, was a Christian and her father, who survives her, is Muslim.

Wrote Saye: ‘This 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 on to in times of despair and life changing challenges. We exist in the marriage of physical and spiritual remembrance. It’s in these spaces that we identify with our physical and imagined bodies. Using myself as the subject, I felt it necessary to physically explore how trauma is embodied in the black experience.’

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