One of the most exciting art spaces in the UAE, the new Barjeel Foundation in Sharjah emphatically represents the vision of its driving force, local businessman, cultural commentator and renowned art collector Sultan Souud al Qassemi.
The Arabic word ‘Barjeel’ literally means ‘wind-tower’ and this notion of a light, airy space in which currents circulate freely serves as an timely metaphor for the Foundation’s central philosophy. Showcasing al-Qassemi’s vast collection of contemporary Middle Eastern art, the Barjeel Foundation works to pro-actively engage with the community and foster a sense of discovery and education whilst demonstrating the myriad ways in which art can form a new platform for dialogue, discussion and debate. This March, the Barjeel Foundation unveils an exciting new exhibition entitled ‘Strike Oppose’, an exploration of representations of Arab life, politics, culture and society in a world obsessed with instant, constant streams of communication.
Some pieces examine the recent history of the Middle East, others showcase the importance of strong community bonds. Some evoke a sense of nostalgia and pride, others defeat and desolation. Many works reveal cold reminders of harsh political turmoil and personal hardship, and various others the whimsical and lyrical interpretations of imagination and escapism. This is one not to miss.
March 11–July 30. Open Sat–Thu 10am–8pm. Fri 4pm–10pm. Maraya Art Centre Level 2, Al Qasba, Al Taawun Road, Sharjah (06 556 6555).