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mashael alsaie

Barren Spring

Barren Spring

Regular price €4.200
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Medium: Glass, Frankincense 
Year: 2023
Dimensions: appx 12-17 cm
Edition: 1 of 13 Unique Editions


'Barren Spring' investigates the folklore of Ain Adhari, a desolate natural spring in Bahrain, through the lens of mythology, eco-feminism, and oral histories. Although dried out since the 1980s, Ain Adhari remains imprinted in the collective memory of those who witnessed it at its most fertile. Having heard stories of the spring without personally experiencing its vitality, I draw upon my own imagination to recreate the site as an anthropomorphized female body. While there are a multitude of stories about the site, I was most drawn to one in particular: The Myth of the Maiden of Adhari. This cautionary myth recalls the plight of a young maiden who is menacingly approached by a strange man in a palm tree grove, and consequently wails in fear until her gushing tears are metamorphosed into an eternal, mythical spring.

Barren Spring reimagines the metaphysical transformation of Adhari from the
virgin’s physical body and into a body of water as a three-part narrative, composed of sculptural glass tears and photographs printed on silk polyester fabric. The 13-frankincense enclosed glass sculptures, a metaphor for the maiden’s tears. The
sculptures are arranged at different heights throughout the space to orient viewers
towards a suspended, transcendental moment in time that foreshadows the alchemy of tears transforming into an oasis. As the viewer weaves through the glass sculptures, they are haunted by the silence and loss that remains of the present day spring, until finally arriving at a suspended photographic print of my imagined take on the mythical site.

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