Sharjah Museum
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Sharjah Museums Authority explores water, art and Islam in a new exhibition

03 June 2021

Building on the strong bilateral ties between the United Arab Emirates and Italy, Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) has teamed up with Fondazione Torino Musei to launch an exhibition that explores the relationship between Islam and water in the first ever collaboration between the cities of Sharjah and Turin. 

Building on the strong bilateral ties between the United Arab Emirates and Italy, Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) has teamed up with Fondazione Torino Musei to launch an exhibition that explores the relationship between Islam and water in the first ever collaboration between the cities of Sharjah and Turin. 

 

Scheduled from June 9 until December 11, under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the temporary exhibition titled “Drop by Drop Life Falls from the Sky. Water, Islam and Art”, will be held at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and will explore the unique connection between water, art and Islam.  

 

As many as 120 artworks will be on display as part of the five-month long exhibition.

 

The objects on loan are from different lenders including 16 renowned Italian public and private collections and from the collections of Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and Sharjah Art Museum.  

 

The exhibition comprises four themes under the titles of – The blessings of water and Islam, Water and daily life, Traditional Hammam, and Gardens.

 

“We are delighted to partner with Fondazione Torino Musei, to offer our audiences an opportunity to discover the multi-faceted aspects of Islam while also highlighting its artistic merits” said Manal Ataya, Director-General of SMA.

 

The exhibition aims to demonstrate the importance of water and explore the integral role it plays in Islam, from its most ancient roots to its numerous and intricate developments.  

 

The exhibition tells a story of water, art and Islam, through different artworks realized in several materials: manuscripts, metalwork, pottery, glass, textiles, carpets, stones that are all in display to illustrate the wealth of Islamic art also referring to this peculiar topic.

 

Among the items on display is a 19th-century Ottoman bowl that echoes past traditions from the Byzantine world, Venice and Northern Europe acquired during the Ottoman Empire’s ruling of the Balkans territory. 

 

Another item is a large circular Basin with inscriptions glorifying the victories of Sultan Al Malik Al Nasir Muhammad Ibn Qalawun.

 

The Exhibition also features a number of Ottoman flasks, some of which are of pyramidal shape, while others are polygonal. 

 

These 17th century flasks were a symbol of status and were often gifted by the sultans to others.

 

Some of them were used by pilgrims to pour in water from the Zamzam well. 

 

In the section of the exhibition focusing on gardens, visitors can enjoy a splendid example of water fountain from Ghazni in Afghanistan, sculpted out of marble with geometrical and arabesques decoration.

 

“We are delighted to present what may possibly be the largest ever exhibition on this theme with its multitude of meanings to offer a specific interpretation on a universal element like water which unites all cultures, traditions and civilisations,” said Giovanni Curatola, Professor at the University of Udine and curator of the exhibition at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

 

On the sidelines of the exhibition, a seminar moderated by Ida Zilio-Grandi, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute – Embassy of Italy to the UAE in Abu Dhabi, hosting Giovanni Curatola, Professor at the University of Udine and curator of the exhibition at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization; Alberto Tiraferri, Professor at the Politecnico of Torino in the Department of Environment, Land and InfrastructureEngineering DIATI), in the field of Applied Environmental Engineering; and Dr.Tarek Merabtene, Professor at University of Sharjah.  Ph.D., Civil Engineering (Water Resources and Hydraulics Engineering), xwill be organized in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute (ICI) - Embassy of Italy to the UAE, in Abu Dhabi. The seminar will be held Saturday June 12 at 10:30 am.

 

Additionally, a rich illustrated catalogue of over 300 pages published in three languages, namely Arabic, English and Italian; with the kind support of the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi, contains over 120 full colour illustrations and essays related to the subject.

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