Sharjah Art Area - located next to the creek and their own Corniche, is a perfect place to get away from the summer heat of the UAE.
In addition it is a great place to relax and enjoy some excellent art work in as quiet and peaceful atmosphere. We had the place to ourselves when we visited and recommend that anyone looking for some culture away from the endless shopping malls that epitomise the UAE should add this to their “must do” list.
Sharjah Art Museum lies behind the Art Area and is a stone building, typical of the older buildings in the UAE. The interior has several attractive architectural features like the ones shown here - coloured glass with wall decoration and Islamic arches. The interior light is calming and makes the whole experience relaxing.
Long corridors each one adorned with carvings and high, arched windows run through the building. Leading off each one are a series of display areas, large enough to take several works or just one depending in the exhibition. Lighting was excellent throughout, and we were able to get just the right distance away to allow us to fully appreciate each exhibit.
The windows at the end of each corridor were adorned with tradiional Arabic screens complete with typical geometric patterns as is their custom. This is most effective and the resulting patterns formed by the sun that dapple the floors add to the imapct of the building and the enjoyment of the visit.
There were several different styles of art on display the day we visited. The first was of contempory art by Arabic artists. Each work was placed in its own display area and sensitively lit to ensure the viewer wasn't distracted by neighbouring works.
In addition to contemporary paintings there was also a display of modern sculptures and small rooms showing films made around the area.
The highlight (unfortunately no photography allowed here) was the display of 19th Century oil and watercolours from the personal collection of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi, which depict Arabian scenes and locations - almost a travel blog! These works were worth the visit alone showing what the region must have looked like 150 years ago. The one painting that particularly caught my eye was the one showing Cairo University in 1890 by Ludwig Deutsch. I would recommend this gallery to anyone…