AN exhibition created with the help of bereaved families, including those of Sheku Bayoh and Katie Allan, will open in Glasgow on Friday.

SoulsINQUEST will go on show at Platform in Easterhouse.

Behind it are photographer Sarah Booker and the charity Inquest, using photography and text as a lens to look at families who have lost loved ones after police contact, in prisons or mental health and care units.

Organisers say it is an embodiment of family resistance that refuses to be silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten.

Sixteen families from around the UK are involved in the exhibition.

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Bayoh died in police custody in Kirkcaldy in 2015.

Allan took her own life at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in 2018.

In new images seen for the first time in the exhibition, Bayoh’s family has created a concept photo to represent his life and death.

His sister Kadi Johnson, who has campaigned since Sheku’s death, is also depicted in a portrait.

Katie’s family took part in SoulsINQUEST.

Their memories are captured in a concept photograph taken on the beach where Katie’s ashes are scattered in Camusdarach, on the west coast of Scotland.

The National: Katie Allan who died at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in 2018

Her parents Linda and Stuart Allan, who have campaigned tirelessly since her death, are also depicted in a portrait.

Linda Allan, Katie’s mother, said: “Almost six years have passed since we last saw our daughter in life.

"We have learned to survive and we have learned to fight. There are still moments that simply take our breath away – still aftershocks.

“However, the pain is now balanced with the times when we’ve experienced the best of human nature, the compassionately empathetic – the love. SoulsINQUEST has been one such experience.

“We were humbled to participate, strengthened by the stories from warrior families, and comforted by the shared understanding.

"Most of all, spending time with the force of compassionate creativity that Sarah Booker is was special.

"Sarah’s energy and desire to get to know us and our son and to know Katie – her life, her spirit, her love – gave us hope.

“To speak and share Katie’s life, who she was, what she might have been was so cathartic, allowing us to trust and to share our ‘sacred spaces’ with Sarah.

"So often when a life is lost at the hands of the state, the focus is on the death, the fight for justice, the pain. SoulsINQUEST offered us a different journey, a place to share our ‘before’, to share Katie’s joy.

“SoulsINQUEST is a novel and unique blend of the loved ones we’ve lost and the steely determination of some of the strongest families I have ever met, portrayed in some very special images.”

Inquest director Deborah Coles said: “Too often families bereaved by deaths in state custody and care face lifelong struggles against indifference, denial and impunity.

"Never have these issues come under such scrutiny in Scotland as at present.

"SoulsINQUEST is a creative response which takes a different perspective.

"It is a form of art as activism and resistance.

"It is also a celebration of the power of bereaved people in the face of injustice. Love and grief are at the centre.

"Scotland has a long tradition of activism and the arts, and it is therefore fitting to have this exhibition here.

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“The exhibition poses a challenge to all those who view it: to be moved as they bear witness to each story, and to be inspired to stand with these families in their continued struggles for truth, justice, accountability and societal change.”

“The exhibition poses a challenge to all those who view it: to be moved as they bear witness to each story, and to be inspired to stand with these families in their continued struggles for truth, justice, accountability and societal change.”

The National: Sheku BayohSheku Bayoh who died in police custody in Kirkcaldy in 2015

Sarah Booker, SoulsINQUEST photographer who collaborated with the families, said: “Through photography and text, 18 families have wrestled with symbols. Symbols which honour their loved ones, killed by institutions that failed to protect them.

"Symbols which are conduits and connectors between those who have passed and those who loved them dearly.

Collectively, 18 families from different backgrounds have engaged in workshops, endless Zoom calls, WhatsApps, and face-to-face discussions.

They have worked together to create their way through unimaginable pain and to confront the truths that the authorities need to keep buried.”

Margaret McCormick, Arts & Communities Lead at Platform, said: “Platform are proud to host SoulsINQUEST that features work in collaboration with the families of Sheku Bayoh and Katie Allan who have been tirelessly campaigning for truth within the Scottish criminal justice system.

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"Platform seeks to bring people together: we believe that experiencing art can make a difference; providing an opportunity to deepen knowledge and hear alternative perspectives.

"We are delighted to offer a mixed accompanying programme of discussion, tours and film that will take place as part of Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art (7 – 23 June 2024).”