©Marta Michalowska. Sharjah, April 2019.

Have you ever considered the sky above your head? Not as a void, but as a multi-layered, complex cultural and legal space, both shared and personal, with a long history and rapidly changing future?

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) and The Wapping Project present Sky Forum, a public programme of panel discussions, conversation and music. Taking place on 11 October in the foundation’s open-air Mirage City Cinema, Sky Forum will include three panel discussions led by experts in history, culture, astronomy and space science. They will explore the past, present and future relationship between people in the Arabian Gulf region and the sky as well as transformations of the composition, nature and use of airspace close to Earth and outer space.

Sky Forum will contribute to artist Shona Illingworth’s ongoing installation project, Topologies of Air, on which she worked during her two-week research and production residency hosted by the foundation in April 2019. During the residency, Illingworth explored how people in the Arabian Gulf region understand their relationship to the sky, its past, present and future. She met experts, run children’s workshops and filmed in Sharjah’s desert, industrial and urban landscapes.

Topologies of Air was commissioned by The Wapping Project, London. Shona Illingworth’s residency in Sharjah was organised and supported by Sharjah Art Foundation. Illingworth is Reader in Fine Art at the University of Kent, and Topologies of Air forms part of her research practice. The residency and the accompanying public programmes were generously supported by the British Council, DCMS and GREAT through the UK-Gulf Culture and Sport Programme.

This event is free and open to the public. To learn more and register your attendance, visit our website.