Rawdah (2022), by Abdullah Alothman, is a sculptural installation referencing the three plants in the heart of Riyadh and its people: aaronsohnia, lavender and clover.
Riyadh has historically benefited from its specific geographic context, where the wadis around which the city is built have preserved rainwater, enabling its land to be green and the air filled with the scents of its plants. It is this history that gave its name, “Riyadh” being the plural of “rawdah”, meaning “garden” or “meadow” in Arabic.
The artist seeks to shed light on these three plants, the “silent heroes” of folktales and literature, sung by poets.
For the installation, the forms of aaronsohnia, lavender and clover have been scaled up and simplified into strong geometric shapes, immediately evocative of these familiar plants, the memories and emotions they arouse. The forms bear the natural bright colors of the plants: yellow, purple and green; at night, illumination allows them to retain their colors in the dark. Visitors can immerse themselves within the installation, experiencing fragrances especially developed for the festival.
The sculpture soars up from the ground, extending to embrace the sky and the air, in celebration of these natural elements forever at the heart of the city.