Sharjah: A five-month art show “contemporising heritage” of the UAE through installations and other mediums has opened at the ‘Reflections and Inspirations from Emirati Heritage’ exhibition at Sharjah Heritage Museum.
The exhibition is being organised by the Sharjah Museums Authority in collaboration with the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah.
Artworks on display reflect different mediums, scales and artworks including abstract 3D objects and daily products, paintings and sculptures, and garments.
Among the featured works, ‘Tasah’ takes centre stage. This jewellery piece, traditionally worn on a woman’s head, holds cultural significance, symbolising the beauty, grace, and resilience of Emirati women. It embodies the traditional values inherent in clothing.
Another standout piece, ‘Telli’, celebrates the art of hand weaving, an Emirati craft requiring precision in its creation.
Al Rawah forum
The exhibition also showcases Al Rawah, a form of music widely recognised in the mountainous regions of the UAE. Often played at special gatherings, such as weddings and official occasions, this traditional musical ensemble composed of men playing drums creates a distinctive and rhythmic soundscape.
The opening took place in the presence of officials, including Aisha Rashid Deemas, Director-General of Sharjah Museums Authority and Nadia M. Alhasani, Professor and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Sharjah, in addition to several university faculty members and esteemed figures from the cultural sector.
The exceptional showcase of Emirati heritage running till April 15, 2024 offers an exploration of heritage through the eyes of art and design students who have created a diverse collection of artworks. Under the guidance of eight faculty representing various artistic disciplines within the College, students have crafted a unique visual narrative of Emirati heritage.
The young creatives are currently studying in one of the four College majors, namely Fine Arts, Fashion Design and Textile, Interior Design, and Visual Communication.
Aisha Rashid Deemas underscored the significance of the exhibition, emphasising that it not only fosters creativity but also serves as an educational tool by playing a pivotal role in helping students grasp the intricacies of heritage concepts and encouraging them to develop a unique perspective on these concepts.
“In a world that is rapidly evolving, organising exhibitions of this nature is of paramount importance. They not only pay tribute to our past but also serve as a wellspring of inspiration for our future,” Aisha said.
She also extended her appreciation to all the participants for their commitment to the promotion of culture and heritage through these endeavours while also highlighting SMA’s commitment to nurturing and showcasing emerging local talent as part of its vision to contribute to the cultural enrichment of the UAE.
Nadia M. Alhasani said the College promotes the idea of ‘contemporising heritage,’ and equips its students with an understanding of Emirati heritage by urging them to bridge tradition with today.
“Through study, analysis, and reinterpretation, they infuse our heritage into contemporary life and the outcome is a diverse visual masterpiece rooted in Emirati heritage. ‘Reflections and Inspirations from Emirati Heritage’ exhibition stands as a collaborative testament not only to the heritage commitment of both institutions,” she said.
She noted that partnering with Sharjah Heritage Museum in this exhibition underscores Sharjah’s dedication to preserving Emirati legacy and nurturing the next generation’s connection to their identity.