Grenfell artist Khadija Saye at the beginning of a new public art project
Who can forget the haunting words of the victims of Grenfell saying, "We can't breathe". The first art installation in this new Project opened on 7th July; it is called 'Breath is Invisible' and uses the works of the artist who was one of the victims of the fire in 2017. There is a real sense of the loss of such talent, as at just 24 she had a life of creativity ahead of her.
Saye’s is the first of three site-specific exhibitions that comprise the project; later this summer artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Joy Gregory will present new commissions that have been created in partnership with the local community.
Working collaboratively with young creatives and arts organisations in the area, Breath is Invisible was born out of an urgency to address issues of social inequality and injustice.
The project’s community partners include Amplify Studios, The Harrow Club and The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme which also launched today. Founded by Nicola Green and Into University, The Khadija Saye Into Arts Programme 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 this space we breathe (7 July - 7 August) is an installation of nine large-scale prints of Saye’s most celebrated works shown across the façade of 236 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. Saye’s silkscreen prints will be available for sale, with the proceeds going to The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme and the Estate of Khadija Saye.
The second exhibition in the series to be invisible (11 August - 4 September), is an aural and visual 3D installation based on the song To Be Invisible by Curtis Mayfield. Inspired by current events associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, Martyn Ware’s soundscape overlays the sounds of the city with a narration of Mayfield’s emotive lyrics to create a meditative ‘fever dream’. Young musicians from Amplify Studios on Portobello Road created audio contributions which Ware arranged into the final piece. In tandem, artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom used bio-feedback from the composition to create a generative digital 3D rendering - a visual representation of the effects of racism that will be projected on the windows of the building.
The genesis of Joy Gregory’s work The Invisible Life Force of Plants (8 September - 9 October) is her research into the history of botany between 17th and 19th centuries, revealing how everyday plants we think of as ‘native’ species have their origins elsewhere.
If you fancy seeing one or all of these, they are located as follows:
236 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH
Dates: 7 July – 9 October 2020
For more information visit www.breathisinvisible.com