Jawaher Al Qasimi inaugurates the Fourth Edition of the Sharjah Children’s Biennial

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Her Highness calls for the development of children’s sense of responsibility through the expression of the plight of their peers around the world.
The Biennial showcases 550 artworks by children and will be held till February 9, 2015

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah & chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has called for the development of children’s sense of responsibility through their artworks which express the plight of their peers around the world who don’t have access to a stable, safe life.

Her Highness made this statement when she opened the fourth edition of the Sharjah Children’s Biennial, the first of its kind in the UAE and the Gulf, on Tuesday Dec 9, 2014. She was accompanied by Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

The biennial is organised by the Department of Children’s Centers in Sharjah in collaboration with the Sharjah Museums Department and will be held at the Sharjah Arts Museum from 9 December, 2014 till 31 December 2014 and at the Children Center in Mughayder, Sharjah from 9 January till 9 February, 2015. The biennial showcases nearly 550 artworks created by children aged from 6 to 18 years and who hail from 11 Arab and Foreign countries.

“As children express the realities they live in, their dreams, their opinions of current social and national events, I also hope that they express through their art, the plight of their peers who have no access to a stable, safe life. In doing so, they will grow through their talent and will express greater understanding of humanitarian issues and will develop their sense of responsibility through the use of their talents in serving their culture, society and nations,” said Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi.

During her tour of the Biennial, Her Highness visited an art workshop held outside the Sharjah Arts Museum and took part with a special drawing that she did during the workshop on Musical Development through arts. In that workshop, participants were asked to express their feelings through a drawing after listening to a segment of music.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi toured the Biennial, which is distributed across 32 main halls under six sections. Every section pertains to a question word: “Where, How, When, Who, What, and Why” which are all part of the current edition’s theme “Questions”. She praised the efforts of the Sharjah Children’s Centers Department in organising the event. Her Highness also heard a detailed explanation given by Reem Binkaram, Acting Director of Sharjah Children’s Centers and President of the Sharjah Children Biennial, regarding the artworks on display.

During her tour, Her Highness saw a group of children from the Sharjah British International School who were drawing on glass walls as part of the workshop “Doodling”. During the workshop the children expressed issues that concern them pertaining to school, family, and various emotions. Her Highness also stopped at the artworks done by cancer patients and heard an analysis by psychologist Dr Amal Zakaria regarding the nature of the artworks created by the children.

Also she have visited the “My Environment, My House” hall which focuses on supporting children’s culture with regards to caring for the environment and being environmentally friendly. The hall includes a number of artworks made out of recyclable material. Her Highness took part and planted a seed of one of the trees as a step towards instilling these values in the minds of children – developing agricultural culture through the arts.

“As it enters its fourth edition, the Sharjah Children’s Biennial continues its journey towards the creative and cultural development of children. This development contributes in the formation of the cultural scene in continuously developing societies,” Her Highness said.

“This international event hosted by Sharjah is an integral part of Sharjah’s interest in children and matters that pertain to childhood. If it has to do with the protection of children and their upbringing, then you will find Sharjah effectively contributing through providing what is needed to achieve those goals. Between those goals children in the UAE shine as they are able to express themselves and their talents with freedom that is in keeping with the value of communicating with those who are older and those who are younger,” she added.

Her Highness Sheikh Jawaher al Qasimi also visited the hall dedicated to showcasing the artworks of the children of Sharjah’s City for Humanitarian Services. She visited the hall that included two workshops, the first by the Department of Women’s Sports, which showcased various sports through art and the second workshop organised by Mum-mum restaurant to develop children’s skills regarding the production of healthy food. Her Highness also visited the “Box of Happiness” hall that included a workshop by artist Dr Najat Makky in which children were encouraged to creatively decorate boxes for their personal belongings.

She further visited the “What’s your favourite time?” hall which includes artworks that capture children’s feelings regarding time and the importance of putting it to good use for the sake of a brighter future. In addition, Her Highness visited the “Anfasak Dhakoon” workshop which is focused on developing children’s sense of smell and reflects their feelings through artistic drawings as well as the “Environment” workshop organized by Bee’ah, the Sharjah Environment Co with the purpose of supporting the children’s environmental awareness.

“The Sharjah Children’s Biennial, in its fourth edition, is one of the main cultural factors that provide children with comprehensive knowledge of their surroundings which they then express with their talent,” she said. She also expressed her hope for the future expansion of the Biennial saying, “I hope that many more children join those who took part so that they may form beautiful groups that will soar in the skies of fine arts.”

At the end of her tour, Her Highness emphasised the important role of the concerned authorities in developing children’s sense of creativity to reach the horizons of true art. “The concerned authorities must direct the young ones and develop their talent and guide them toward the routes of creativity and towards the use of suitable artistic tools to reach the horizons of true art. They would do that through expressive artworks appreciated by their audience,” she said.

In this regard, Reem Binkaram, Acting Director of Sharjah Children’s Centers, President of Sharjah Children Biennial said: “We are proud of the international reach of the Sharjah Children’s Biennial as it attracts creative artworks by children from all around the world. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. We will work on carrying out her guidance and directives and will transform them into work strategies for the upcoming period so that the Biennial’s range will grow and so that it will be a leading event in supporting children’s artistic skills and in elevating them towards higher levels of pioneering and innovation.”

It’s worth noting that the 550 artworks showcased at the Sharjah Children’s Biennial focus on questions that pertain to imagination, sciences, legends and stories, arts, technology, design, philosophy, environment, engineering, languages, biographies and daily life.

The artworks came from 11 Arab and Foreign countries with the highest number of participation from the UAE (428 artworks) followed by the Czech Republic (45 artworks), Jordan (17 artworks), Pakistan (16 artworks), South Korea (12 artworks), Egypt (11 artworks), Sudan (9 artworks), USA (7 artworks), two artworks from South Africa, two from Australia, and one from Syria.