Artist and designer Bashaer Hawsawi’s work Early Ripening (2022) is inspired by one of her mother’s daily practices that she grew up observing, fascinated by their repetitive nature. As a silent, pensive child, Hawsawi watched and absorbed these actions. She remembers her mother doing the laundry and drying it in the sun; she also watched her dry lemons, which at the time did not make sense to her. Only later, when she fell ill, she saw they could be used to aid her recovery. For her installation at Noor Riyadh, Hawsawi has created illuminated objects that are loosely symbolic of those lemons. Scattered in a grassy landscape, the objects are realized in different hues – simulated by artificial light at night – to represent the different stages of the drying process.
Interested in notions of cultural identity, belonging and nostalgia, part of Hawsawi’s practice is noticing the things around her. This particular work relates to the natural phenomenon of the sun’s warmth and the simple domestic tasks it enables – such as the drying of lemons. Rendering the lemons as sculpture, Hawsawi gives this humble everyday practice new prominence in public space.