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Artist and Grenfell victim Khadija Saye’s work has gone on display at Tate Britain

By Matt Breen

An artwork by Khadija Saye, the young photographer who died in the Grenfell Tower fire, has gone on display at Tate Britain.

The piece, ‘Sothiou’, is now being shown in the gallery’s memorial space. It is used to showcase work by artists who have recently died, but is rarely given over to someone who passed away so tragically young: Saye was just 24 years old. 

Saye’s friend, the Tottenham MP David Lammy, has stated that she was destined for great things, saying that the day before her death she had met a high-profile gallery owner. 

Saye grew up in London, then received a scholarship to the prestigious Rugby School when she was 16. She went on to study for a BA in Photography at UCA Farnham, where she began to make work that explored her Gambian heritage and identity. Her tutors have remembered her as a warm, curious, hardworking student whose confidence grew over the course of the degree.

Remarkably, for a graduate in her early twenties, her work was selected to appear in the Diaspora Pavilion in this year’s Venice Biennale. It all points to the start of a glittering career – one that came to a sudden end in the small hours of last Wednesday in Kensington.

Saye’s mentor, the artist Nicola Green, has helped launch a crowdfunding campaign to set up the Khadija Saye Memorial Fund, which aims to offer resources and support to other young artists who, like Saye, have grown up in relative hardship. If you’d like to get involved, head here.

Here are more ways you can help those affected by the Grenfell Fire.

Thinking of volunteering? Here’s one writer’s account of how Londoners are coming together after the Grenfell Fire.

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