Harlesden High Street: Private View
Coinciding with spring’s climax, Saudi artist Hawazin Al-Otaibi will present at Harlesden High Street her solo show Soft Whispers, featuring new works from her painting series “Softboi”.
This body of work of lavishing vibrant colours and bucolic imagery plays with ironic, non-conforming representations of masculinity in the Arab world. Al-Otaibi draws her references from early childhood memories of Saudi cultural and religious books on femininity and their aesthetics as well as the symbolism associated with female purity, beauty, chastity and vulnerability. By playfully portraying Saudi men in charming, romanticised scenarios, covered in exuberant flowers and often accompanied by white doves, she reverses and appropriates these inherited notions of gender and ironically refers to religious iconography of both Christianity and Islam.