Jameel Prize returns to Sharjah

The emirate will be the first international venue that the V&A exhibition has travelled to more than once.

Nasser Al Salem's Kul. Courtesy V&A Museum, London
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The Jameel Prize, a biennial international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition, has returned to Sharjah’s Museum of Islamic ­Civilization.

Launched at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2009, the exhibition travels to a variety of international venues. The inaugural edition was exhibited in Sharjah in 2010, and the visit by the third edition means the emirate is the first international venue that it has travelled to more than once.

“The UAE is the Jameel Prize’s second home,” says Tim Stanley, the senior curator for the Middle Eastern collections at the V&A. “Sharjah does a fantastic job in terms of presenting the prize and exhibition within a context that means a lot to people, and we are very happy to bring it back here.”

Among the artworks on display in the Sharjah museum is Concrete Carpet, an installation that combines the Islamic traditions of the East with the minimalist aesthetics of the West. Made of 28 panels, each featuring an Arabic letter, the concrete is inlaid with mother-of-pearl – a signature of its designer Nada Debs.

In the adjacent gallery is an artwork by the Saudi calligrapher Nasser Al Salem that spells out words with an ECG graph.

The French designer Laurent Mareschal, meanwhile, has meticulously laid spices out on the floor in a Palestinian-style ­pattern.

Also on display is a stunning series of dresses influenced by the architecture of Istanbul and designed by the 2013 Jameel Prize-winner Dice Kayek, a Turkish fashion ­label.

The Jameel Prize 3 exhibition runs until June 6 at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization