in this space we breathe (2017–2018)

Khadija Saye

in this space we breathe
Portfolio of 9 silkscreen prints on Somerset Satin White 300gsm
61.3 x 50.2 cm (each)
Sharjah Art Foundation Collection

From ‘Crowned’, 2013
C-type photographic print mounted on aluminium
57 x 47 x 2 cm
Collection of Jackie Russell
Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Nicola Green, London


Khadija Saye (1992–2017) explored notions of traditional African spirituality and ritual as embodied practices to overcome trauma and despair. Though exhibited as silkscreen prints, the self-portraits constituting in this space we breathe (2017–2018) were initially rendered as wet plate collodion tintypes. For Saye, the materiality of submerging the collodion plate in a silver nitrate tank called to mind the spiritual cleansing of baptism. The dream- like, hazy, mystical figures of these self-portraits transform artefacts of her Gambian and mixed-faith heritage into objects of healing. Also on view is Untitled (2013), an original print from the series ‘Crowned’ which celebrates Afro- Caribbean female hairstyles and interrogates what is perceived as universally and historically natural.