Celebrating Creativity Despite the Devasting Grenfell Tower Fire

Celebrating Creativity Despite the Devasting Grenfell Tower Fire

As a result of the heartbreaking event of the Grenfell Tower fire, the creative community has taken a painful blow, losing one of its burgeoning stars: Khadija Saye. Khadija was a young art photographer who lived with her mother on the 20th floor of the Grenfell Tower. The tragedy is accompanied by underlying issues regarding class and race; with majority of individuals living above the 4th floor of the Grenfell tower either black or asian, due to their inability to afford the lower level accommodation.  Khadija had many issues like these to overcome in chasing her dream, not least financially. Yet her desire and work ethic never wavered, transforming sensitive, personal class and race issues in to exquisite and thought provoking works of art. Khadija pursued her captivating style of photography, proceeding to graduate from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, one of the leading arts universities in the country.

Khadija Saye

Khadija’s enormous exploratory talent was evident, with her work set to be exhibited at the Disporia Pavilion for the 57th Venice Bienalle as part of a showcase of emerging artists. It was clear her career was about to soar. Her work “Dwelling: in this space we breathe, a series  of wet plate collodion tintypes exploring the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practice and the urge to find solace within a higher power catching the eye of Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard gallery, who wanted to meet her  just before her untimely and unexpected passing.


Yet it isn’t just her already recognised work that is worthy of attention. Khadija’s documentary-style photography, and her “Crowned” series featuring natural styles and textures of black women’s hair deserves just as much acclaim. Set for an accomplished life, at just twenty-four years old, the artist had also been filmed as part of the documentary ‘Venice Biennale: Sink or Swim’, which was due to air on Saturday evening on BBC2. However, this has now been postponed due to the turbulent time her friends and family are experiencing.

Khadija Saye

Khadija was, and is, a groundbreaking artist, covering cultural issues, unafraid of sensitivity or controversy. To lose such a skilled creative is devastating, but her talent lives on in the medium of her photography, capturing and sealing a moment in time, making her legacy everlasting.

Please donate to the Khadija Saye Memorial Fund 

Khadija’s work is currently displayed at the Tate Britain


Written by Roisin O’Hare

Editorial Assistant

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