A new art installation, ‘The Swing’ by Azza Al Qubaisi, unveiled at Al Noor Island

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Al Noor Island, Sharjah’s picturesque eco-architectural destination, has unveiled a new art installation to its collection. Titled ‘The Swing,’ commissioned work by Emirati Artist Azza Al Qubaisi is inspired and born out of the local culture and heritage.

Al Qubaisi, is mos often referred as the UAE’s first Emirati jewelry artist and known fo her public art engagements with palm branches.

Shaped by seven abstract pieces of rusted mild steel and stainless steel, with Ghaf and palm tree leaves cut on them, ‘The Swing’ features immersive and sustainable art that reflects the past and the present of the UAE. Infusing the theme of ‘anxious waiting’ that Emirati women went through during the pearl harvest season in the past with the current prosperity, ‘The Swing’ gives a deep frame of thought for visitors and art enthusiasts.

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“’The Swing’ reflects the pre-oil time during the Pearl harvest season, where women used to stand on the shore waiting for their husbands’ return in the anxiety of losing their spouses. On the contrary, nowadays a family would enjoy togetherness on this extended swing, feeling safe overlooking the prosperity and development of Sharjah and the UAE,” says artist Azza Al Qubaisi.

“New and old materials were used to create the installation, representing the past and present. People can see Palm and Ghaf tree-inspired patterns with an abstract metal framework of palm branches, which reflects the theme,” she added.

Next to mild steel that develops a rusted patina over time, the artist has also placed stainless steel, allowing the surrounding trees and bushes to reflect on the installation during the day. Once the sun sets, ‘The Swing’ is illuminated by lights embedded in the surrounding landscape and the indirectly lit walkways leading to the piece invites visitors to discover this secretly hidden getaway on the island.

With the addition of ‘The Swing’ adding to the 8 unique and exclusive art sculptures at the Island, Azza Al Qubaisi also joins the list of renowned global artists who marked their artistic presence on the Island.

The art installation, overlooking Khalid lagoon on the West shore of the island is created in collaboration with Maraya Art Centre, one of the UAE’s most significant art spaces and cultural platforms.

Dr. Nina Heydemann, director of Maraya Art Centre and 1971- Design Space, stated that “With the purpose of supporting artists from the UAE and abroad, it is our great privilege to extend our public art initiatives to Al Noor Island, in which Azza Al Qubaisi has created a new site-specific piece offering contemplative moments for the visitors of the island. She is also the first Emirati artist having contributed to the Island’s bespoke art installations, touching upon themes related to the local history and heritage.”

Spanning an area of 45,470 square meters of attractions and amenities that combine authentic and contemporary design, Al Noor Island from the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) blends art and culture with nature and presents a unique cultural image of Sharjah.

The island, open in 2015 is also well-known for its picturesque frames and its art sculptures that tell the stories of human creativity.