Filming of Grenfell Tower

by Steve McQueen

Artist Steve McQueen was born in West London at Hammersmith Hospital, and grew up in his early years on the White City Estate.

He filmed Grenfell Tower on Monday 18 December 2017 to make an artwork in support of the Grenfell community.

The work is called Grenfell and is not a fiction film.

It is a straight recording of the Tower as it was before it was covered up. It has no narrative story or characters in it, no dramatisation.

This is to record this moment in the community's history and make a lasting memorial to the tragedy. This was done with respect to those who lost their lives and the wider community. The aim is that it lives on in the mind of the nation and the world long after the covering went up.

It is self-funded by Steve McQueen. It is not a commercial project and will not be sold. It is not for broadcast nor to be screened on TV.

After its presentation at Serpentine South Gallery, the work will be placed in the care of Tate and the Museum of London's collections. Further information will be released in due course about future displays of the work. Please check back here for more information.

Filming details

The filming date was Monday 18 December 2017.

Steve McQueen was available to talk to locals in the vicinity of Notting Hill Methodist Church between 9am and 11am, and again at the end of the day between 6pm and 7pm.

Filming was done with a helicopter over two flights between the hours of 1.30pm and 6pm. This was scheduled to avoid the school run, morning memorial services and during working hours to minimise disruption to residents.

It was not possible to use a drone for filming. These cannot safely circle the Tower as the pilot needs to have a clear line of sight of it at all times. The drone is also limited to fly to a height of up to 400 feet, making a "bird's eye view" of the Tower impossible.

For anyone that had any questions, or did not want to be alone on the day, the production team and NHS community support workers were available at the Notting Hill Methodist Church from 9am to 6pm that day. Complementary teas and coffees were served.

About Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen is a British artist and filmmaker. He was born in West London at Hammersmith Hospital in 1969 and studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College where he first became interested in film.

Over the last 25 years Steve McQueen has been influential in expanding the way in which artists work with film as well as making three films for cinematic release, Hunger (2008), Shame (2010) and 12 Years a Slave (2013, Academy Award Best Picture 2014). As an artist McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999, represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and has won numerous international awards for his art. McQueen's work is held and exhibited in public museums around the world.

He lives and works in London and Amsterdam.

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Last updated: 11 May 2023