Al Amal School for Deaf at Sharjah museum of Islamic Civilization
The ‘Owen Jones: Islamic Design, Discovery and Vision’ exhibition, which was hosted by the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, concluded on the 15th of July 2012. The touring exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London was on display in Sharjah from 21 March to 15 July, 2012.
The four-month exhibition was an unprecedented success as it received a huge turnout of visitors who expressed their admiration for the unique collections displayed at the exhibition.
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah had inaugurated the ground-breaking exhibition which draws upon treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) collections to tell the story of Owen Jones, a highly versatile architect and designer whose explorations of Islamic design contributed to the reshaping of the 19th century British design at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.
A large number of senior officials from Sharjah Government and other Emirates, as well as an elite group of renowned Arab and international artists visited the exhibition and their visits have had a great impact on their interaction with the exemplary collections.
A wide range of events and activities were held in conjunction with the exhibition. These activities targeted all community groups, including families, adults, artists and others, as part of its commitment towards promoting cultural awareness and enhancing art appreciation.
In line with its ongoing outreach programmes, the SMD’s Interpretation and Education Department organized the 'Afternoon Tea' programme. Especially designed around the exhibition, it offered a unique platform for artists, intellectuals and members of the community to discuss and exchange expertise and creative ideas inspired by the displays.
SMD’s Interpretation and Education Department also organized a series of educational workshops and tours for primary and preparatory school art teachers of the Sharjah Educational Zone to encourage teachers to participate and make use of the numerous activities and events organized by Sharjah's various museums.
The teachers were first taken on a tour of the ‘Owen Jones’ exhibition where they had the opportunity to understand Jones’ deep passion and respect for Islamic art, design and architecture, and how the West looked towards the Islamic world to create a much-needed modern style within design and architecture. Following the tour, the teachers took part in a workshop titled ‘Print-making’, which engages participants in printing their own designs inspired by the Islamic designs in the exhibition. The Department expressed its interest to work closely with the Sharjah Educational Zone and that the museums are always available as a learning and cultural platform for both teachers and students.
As part of its special monthly educational programs, the Department of Education and Interpretation at Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) also organized educational and innovative workshops for adults, families and children, as well as community members with special needs. The Department organised a workshop titled ‘Beauty of Islamic Art’ presented by the artist Mohammed Jafar, through which the participants learnt various styles of glass painting and made their own Islamic patterns.
In its quest to enhance a sense of responsibility and the importance of engaging individuals with special needs in all community programmes, the Department organised a workshop titled ‘Royal Rugs’ where the participants made their own carpets inspired by the interior of Al Hambra Palace in Granada.
The ‘Owen Jones’ Photography Contest also received a great public response, Among those who participated in the competition were students from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah, the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Girls Centres, as well as several other individual members of community. The contest was organized with the aim of engaging community members in activities that encourage further appreciation of Islamic Art and develop their creativity.
The exhibition period concluded with the summer camp organised by the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. The event featured a diverse range of activities such as drawing, design and story-telling inspired by the story of Owen Jones and the designs he used in his work as inspired by Islamic Art.
Sharjah Museums Department thanked all those who contributed to the success of the prestigious cultural and art event, and expressed its pride that the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was chosen to be the first venue in the Middle East to host this high-profile exhibition, which recognizes the longstanding reputation of Sharjah as the capital of Arab and Islamic Culture.