Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival

The annual Islamic Arts Festival began in 1998 under the supervision and organisation of the Directorate of Art in the Department of Culture and Information, with the intention of exhibiting various kinds of traditional and contemporary Islamic arts. 
Over its consecutive editions, the Festival was able to display different vibrant styles of Islamic Art through a selection of art projects illustrating the authenticity of Islamic Art and its ability to keep up with current artistic changes.
The Festival is one of the most renowned Islamic Art events in the region, and its events include local and international exhibitions, intellectual programmes, and interactive activities.
The theme of the upcoming edition of the Islamic Arts Festival (Gradate)
Approaching specific concepts or themes to produce artistic works entails evoking perceptual and sensory experiences. Artistic creativity is dependent on unleashing the imagination that would add rich dimensions to the primary concepts through the gradual unfolding of the creative process. In its current session, the Islamic Arts Festival adopts the theme of “Gradate” as a reference concept and a guide to formulating creative works. This keyword is almost indispensable to everything in our external and internal worlds alike. Nothing is completed without a gradual process of creation, nor is there a complete state without the complementarity and interweaving of the many elements that form its basic structure; the complete is gradually achieved through the growth of its various components.
Hence, we hope that artists will approach this concept from their perceptions regardless of their tools, methods, and expressive styles. Our aim is for this theme to serve as a sign indicative of the path of creativity that the artists will follow on their quest to formulate a visual creation characterized by structural and artistic eloquence that simulates this theme. The concept we propose can be approached in the context of the growing aesthetic and objective knowledge and experiences and the varied ways of establishing and expressing them authentically. We are ultimately led to explore this concept and its uses in Islamic arts that inherently simulate the absolute and the infinite ideas. There is no doubt that Islamic arts have always embodied unity in diversity, harmony in rhythm, and congruence in innumerable gradations. Islamic arts are the true manifestation of an everlasting art that addresses the essence of existence in its entirety and discloses the eternal truth of the arts – not as mere transient adornment, but as being present at the core of the meaning that defines the very basis of our life.


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