In the UAE, the Emirate of Sharjah has cemented itself as the artistic and cultural capital. Amidst the thriving art scene in the Emirate, the Sharjah Art Foundation shines as a bastion of contemporary expression, advocating, catalyzing, and producing art that resonates locally and reverberates globally. Under the visionary leadership of Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, diverse initiatives, from the renowned Sharjah Biennial to grants and residencies for artists, emphasize its commitment to art.
This October, the Sharjah Art Foundation presents not one but two compelling exhibitions that capture the essence of contemporary art’s evolution. In its 11th edition, Vantage Point Sharjah (VPS) invites visitors into the visual landscapes crafted by emerging talents from Africa and Asia. The exhibition challenges established notions of photographic practices, featuring four individual artists and one collective. From Oumaima Abaraghe‘s digital reconstruction of Morocco’s colonial archive to Postbox Ghana‘s recontextualization of postcard images, VPS 11 showcases diverse approaches united by a common thread of engaging with colonial legacies and contemporary image-making techniques.
A highlight of VPS 11 is the introduction of a one-on-one professional mentoring program, enriching the artists’ experiences and fostering their growth under the guidance of industry experts. This dynamic platform, initiated in 2013, has become a testament to the Foundation’s commitment to cultivating public engagement with photography in all its forms.
The second exhibition, titled “Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska: Plaited Time / Deep Water,” offers a distinctive fusion of painting, installation, sound, and more. Celebrating the first exhibition of these internationally renowned artists in the region, the showcase, curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif, the Foundation’s Director of Collections and Senior Curator, unveils four new commissions alongside reimagined works. Lubaina Himid, a Turner Prize winner, and Magda Stawarska explore language and memory through their collaborative lens, responding to Sharjah’s architecture, soundscapes, and proximity to the sea. The exhibition explores themes of displacement, history, and migration through paintings and multisensory installations.
Vantage Point Sharjah will be hosted in the historic Old Al Diwan Al Amiri in Al Hamriyah, Sharjah, from October 14, 2023, to January 14, 2024, while Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska: Plaited Time / Deep Water will run from October 29, 2023 to January 28, 2024 at Al Mureijah Art Spaces.