20TH SHARJAH ISLAMIC ARTS FESTIVAL, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Pia Jensen was invited to submit a proposal for the 20th Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, UAE, with the theme Athar – Impact. Her project was selected along with 41 other works of art among 160 proposals.

 

From her travels in the Arab world she has brought home a recognition of the calm of nature in the large stuccoed and ornamented domes she saw there. She conveyed this recognition as well as the mutual influence between East and West by creating a contemplative space in a coherent installation where visitors could sit down and feel the calm enclose them.

Based on the Moorish hexagon and the idea of a monochrome installation that took over the entire room,

she worked with the colour white. White as a reference to the plaster used to make the ornamental stucco and with a luminescent blue backing, so that a faint blue sheen could be seen behind the open figures – as a reference to the sky and open space. A small number of coloured elements in orange and red gently guided the viewer into the story.

 

 

The design of the abstract bench was based on a section of the wall, repeated in three staggered components, made in dark wood as a reference to the large ornamented wooden doors that are so common in the Arab world.

Eight competent, local carpenters built the installation based on her site-specific drawings, while Pia Jensen supervised, appreciating their support and their receptiveness to her ideas. The installation was presented as ‘a room for thoughtful consciousness’

 

– an apt description that the audience responded to by taking time to experience the contemplative space

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