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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Plus: an exhibition inspired by regional architecture and Orientalist glass art comes to Sharjah.
Picture of the Songhai village I’sé, located in modern-day central Mali, based on a sketch by Heinrich Barth, published c.1857-58 and on display in West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song. Image courtesy of British Library
Picture of the Songhai village I’sé, located in modern-day central Mali, based on a sketch by Heinrich Barth, published c.1857-58 and on display in West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song. Image courtesy of British Library

Islamic glass art from Europe comes to Sharjah

This exhibition in Sharjah features a collaboration with Vienna’s most prestigious crystal glass firm, J & L Lobmeyr, which was founded in 1823. It features about 90 pieces of glass art from the family’s private collection that, according to the exhibition’s organisers, have not been shown publicly since the 19th century. Many of the pieces are inspired by regional Islamic art traditions from the Ottoman and Mughal eras. Orientalist Glass Art: Masterpieces from the Museum of J & L Lobmeyr, Vienna runs at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation until January 16. For more information visit www.sharjahmuseums.ae.

Explore a thousand years of West African history

A saddlebag Quran, early sound recordings of “talking drums” and the music of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. These are just some of the elements in a major exhibition that traces the rich literary, artistic and musical heritage of West Africa. Spanning about 1,000 years, the show will examine how key figures in the region’s history, such as Kuti and Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian author Wole Soyinka, harnessed culture to fight injustice. The exhibition includes books, photographs, textiles and manuscripts from the region’s 17 nations. West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song runs at the British Library until February 16. For more information, visit www.bl.uk.

Taking inspiration from the region’s architecture

The architecture of the region, particularly in Al Fahidi District in Dubai, provides inspiration for Mike Arnold, an American artist based in the UAE. Particularly striking in a new exhibition of his works are several mono prints – four variants of the same drawing using foil, pencil sketches and glass. Arnold, also an architect, works from a studio in Al Fahidi District (also known as Al Bastakiya) and his other works include scenes from the equestrian world. Beyond the Architecture of Art runs at the Showcase Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, until November 12. For more information, visit www.showcaseuae.com.