London Grenfell disaster killed photographer Khadija Saye


This 2 September 2017 video from Britain says about itself:

Khadija Saye tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire at the age of just 24. In this interview filmed a month beforehand, she talks about her ambitions and her photography exhibition in Venice.

The footage is taken from the BBC Arts programme Venice Biennale: Britain’s New Voices.

BY LUCY LAVER in Britain today:

Khadija Saye: Breath is Invisible

Khadija Saye 1992-2017 236 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH Until August 7th

WITH THE reconvening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on Monday and the recent and ongoing global Black Lives Matter uprising, this is a pertinent and timely outdoor exhibition of the remarkable photographic works of the late Khadija Saye.

The exhibition was unveiled by Labour MP David Lammy earlier this week in Notting Hill.

The large intriguing prints are displayed across the façade of 236 Westbourne Grove W11, and the powerful exhibition coincides with the launch of an art project, the Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme, that aims to diversify the industry, working with young people from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds.

It was founded in her memory by the charity, IntoUniversity, who had nurtured Khadija’s artistic talents as a North Kensington student from childhood, and her mentor Nicola Green, a British portrait painter and the wife of David Lammy.

Khadija Mohammadou Saye, also known as Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, was a London born British Gambian artist and activist who lived and worked in the flat she shared with her mother, Mary Mendy, on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower in urban North Kensington.

Although Kensington and Chelsea is one of the smaller and wealthier boroughs in London, North Kensington is a relatively deprived area where its pockets of poverty often sit in stark contrast to the wealth of those around them.

Despite this, at 16 Khadija won a full Arnold Foundation scholarship to the esteemed Rugby School and went on to study a BA in photography at UCA Farnham with a particular interest in post-colonial theory and identity politics.

Her graduate exhibition, ‘Crowned’ was a series of thought-provoking portraits shot in her home against a black velvet background depicting the traditional hairstyles such as braids, locks and cornrows worn by her friends, family and neighbours.

Saye had a passionate drive to make art a more inclusive space and had worked at Jawaab, a creative campaigning group aimed at legitimising young Muslims to become politically and artistically active.

The series used in the current exposition is entitled Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe.

The portfolio of self-portraits is a very personal exploration of the notions of identity and spirituality, inspired by Khadija’s Muslim and Christian religious heritage and portraying traditional Gambian rituals with culturally significant and meaningful objects.

The sepia-toned images have been described by critics as heartwarming, haunting and relic-like, with an ancient feel.

The aged look was achieved by an early photographic process created in 1851 called Wet Collodion Tintype.

The technique entails adding a soluble iodide to a collodion solution and then coating a glass plate with it.

This method results in images steeped in ethereal tones of grey and black.

Khadija’s use of this process and her characterisation of traditional African practices results in powerful and memorable portraits that are reminiscent of the sepia-toned images of early 19th century photographs.

Following her death, Tate Britain announced that they would exhibit a screen print of one of her tintype photographs from the Dwelling series.

Earlier in the year, they had been exhibited in the Diaspora Pavilion at the prestigious 57th Venice Biennale, where Saye was their youngest-ever participant, at just 24 years old.

Described by those that knew her as kind, funny, bright and extremely talented with an infectious laugh, Khadija had been nervous and thrilled to be selected for such an undertaking and had reportedly caught the eye of a prominent director.

The event had heralded the cusp of her recognition, and the images were still on display when the fire tragically engulfed her home and took her life, aged only 24, in June 2017.

Today, in this urban public space however, Khadija’s art lives.

Breath Is Invisible is a public art project which will show four artists’ work in a shared public space to celebrate, reflect, question and heal, and work collaboratively with young creative and local non-profit community arts organisations. It is a project born of urgency to address issues of racism and injustice.

Foxglove flowers and cockchafer beetles


Flowers, Gooilust, 8 June 2020

This 8 June 2020 photo shows foxglove flowers in Gooilust nature reserve near Hilversum.

Cockchafer, 8 June 2020

A bit further, there was this beetle.

Cockchafer beetle, 8 June 2020

A cockchafer beetle.

Cockchafer, on 8 June 2020

This species is also called Maybug, though this beetle was still around in June. After the photo session, the beetle flew up to a treetop.

Foxglove flowers, 8 June 2020

Then, once again foxglove flowers.

Stay tuned for more Gooilust photos!

Eared grebes, highland cattle in dunes lake


Eared grebe, Egmond, 19 May 2020

This photo shows an eared grebe. One of a couple swimming in the lake south-west of Egmond Binnen village, in the coastal sand dunes nature reserve.

Highland cattle, 19 May 2020

As this photo from the hide shows, highland cattle joined the grebes in the water.

Brown hares, how to photograph them


This 11 April 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Hare Photography | Brown Hares close to home

I’m very fortunate to live in a small rural village with fields close to my house, so being out in nature is still possible for me during my permitted daily walk. During these difficult times, lockdown can be extremely hard, especially for those that can’t get out in nature, so I hope this short video and photographs of Brown Hares, which was filmed over 3 late evening walks, bring a little bit of joy and happiness to everyone, during these times.

STAY SAFE!!

How to photograph little owls


This 31 May 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Wide Angle Little Owl Photography | How I Took This Shot

One of the wonderful things about wildlife photography is the unexpected which can lead to one of those memorable moments and images.

In this video, I take you along to my little owl site – a bird I simply love to photograph, and explain the wide-angle techniques I use to create dramatic images with a very different perspective than that you get when using a long telephoto lens.

I hope you enjoy it, take care and continue to stay safe.

Macro photography of Ecuadorian insects, spiders


This 20 May 2020 video says about itself:

Macro Photography in ECUADOR – Episode 2: Spiders, Flies, Moths, Ants, VELVET WORMS

Even more macro photography from a trip to Ecuador’s cloud forest to look for wild arthropods.

Thanks to Nancy Miorelli for all the help on the trip.

El Septimo Paraiso – the place we stayed, is highly recommended!

Common whitethroat, mallards and gadwalls


Mallards and gadwall, 20 May 2020

After my earlier blog post, still 20 May 2020 in the sand dunes nature reserve. We walked away from the lake, just south of Egmond aan Zee village. Just to the south of that lake, in the next lake, were these three mallards dabbling, and a gadwall duck swimming behind them.

Further away, a little grebe swimming.

Common whitethroat, 20 May 2020

On a bush above the lake, this common whitethroat singing.

Common whitethroat, on 20 May 2020

An oystercatcher flying.

Mallards, 20 May 2020

Meanwhile, the mallards were still dabbling.

Gadwall, 20 May 2020

The gadwalls had moved to another part of the lake.

Gadwall, on 20 May 2020

As we walked back, a brimstone butterfly.

Wild pansies, little grebes and nightingales


Wild pansies, 20 May 2020

This photo shows wild pansies which we saw on 20 May 2020 in the sand dunes nature reserve, on the day after 19 May.

As we start walking, a blackbird sings. And a chiffchaff.

A cuckoo calls.

A brimstone butterfly.

A wood warbler sings.

We arrive at the hide where we saw little grebes in the lake. This time, we see only a coot couple with their youngsters. The littles grebes are audible, not visible.

A small, but noisy flock of starlings.

Nightingales sing.

A male chaffinch sings from the top of a bush.

Small heath butterflies.

Wild pansies, on 20 May 2020

We arrive at an area with many wild pansies.

Sand dune plants, 20 May 2020

And other plants adapted to this sandy environment.

Rabbit droppings.

We arrive at a lake, not far from Egmond aan Zee village.

Swifts, house martins and barn swallows flying around.

Little grebes, 20 May 2020

Two little grebes swimming.

Coot, 20 May 2020

And a coot.

Stay tuned, as there will be a sequel to this blog post!