This artwork emerged from my feelings that followed a devastating fire that swept through Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London, during the early hours of 14 June 2017. At least seventy two people lost their lives whose names are memorialised below:
Nur Huda El-Wahabi
Mary Ajaoi Augustus Mendy
Jessica Urbano Ramirez
Amna Mahmud Idris
Ali Yawar Jafari
Over seventy more were hospitalised, and countless injured, physically and psychologically. The twenty four storey high-rise tower block of mixed private and public housing flats was home to around six hundred, many poor, and often marginalized people with diverse ethnicities. Those who lived at Grenfell Tower were loved by a community of family and friends that number in the thousands.
Although 'In Sight of Spirit Strong' touches on the fear and confusion of this terrible event, it does not show those caught up in it as victims, but rather people with intention and strength, no matter their form. I choose not to see those who lived at Grenfell Tower as casualties, but as silhouetted spirits: vibrant, purposeful, powerful.
Art is often an expression of chaotic feelings that have not found voice in the open air of language. In its uncertainty, abstract art can encourage the search for meaning and at the same time, through its ambiguity, brings nourishment to the precarious heart.
The beauty of art, as with life, is that it is not always clear.
A full size extract from the artwork follows: