My Mother Lulwa’s House

Past Exhibition

Mashael Al Hejazi has been developing her photographic work in the Musherib area for the past four years. She evokes the narratives and traces of the area in her work as it was where she resided during her childhood. In these installations, Al Hejazi focuses on Al Najada House number 15, which is part of a cluster of houses dating back to the 1950s that have been restored and preserved by Qatar Museums and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning. The houses were usually irregular in shape and built into the small areas available in this increasingly populated area of the city. Named after the people who had moved from Najd, Saudi Arabia and settled there, the Al Najada neighborhood includes residential spaces, commercial shops, masjids, and public spaces such as a majlis and large parking structures. The area contains both modern and new buildings, as well as historic listed sites.

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A man wearing a thobe, sits with a small boy on his knee.

Once an inhabited domestic space – later abandoned for many years – Al Hejazi breathes life back into the house through her characteristic portraiture of family members. The title lends its name to the backbone of a home, as it rests in the care of a mother's shelter. The notion is to re-inhabit the simplicity and warmth of a Qatari home – in and between the majlis, the mother’s room and the courtyard. The artist’s playful approach in capturing her subjects, the warmth that is exuded from a child’s expression and a mother’s presence, exhibits intimate feelings towards figures that are present in our own nuclear families. The mother, Lulwa, remains the prevalent character in Qatari households, as she warms our spaces and compassionately carries us forward. The visitor becomes part of the home's revival, interacting with its elements and Al Hejazi’s photographic activations. 

My Mother Lulwa’s House is curated by Maryam Hassan Al-Thani. It is part of the larger Contemporary Heritage project where sites of cultural importance are activated by artists Hadeer Omar at the Al Koot Fort, and Shaha Al Khulaifi at the Al Rayyan Palace. 

The installation is initiated and organised by Tasweer in location partnership with Qatar Museums’ Cultural Heritage Conservation Department.