Across the Chalk Line, 2015

Gary Simmons, Across the Chalk Line, 2015
Site-specific installation
460 x 380 cm
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Courtesy of the artist


Sharjah Art Foundation hosts a junior cricket tournament in collaboration with the Sharjah Cricket Academy in Al Mureijah Square on 26 and 27 May 2023.

During the two-day tournament, players from the Sharjah Cricket Academy, ages 7–11, will compete to reactivate Gary Simmons’ public art project Across the Chalk Line (2015). Created for Sharjah Biennial 12: The Past, the Present, the Possible (2015), the site-specific installation is designed in the form of a junior-sized cricket oval. Apart from providing a playing field for children, the artwork invites viewers to cross the boundary into the realm of cricket to ponder not only the beauty of the game but also its social and political potential.

As part of its long-running and sustained commitment to the community, the Foundation looks to reactivate permanent public projects and site-specific installations from not just the current edition of the Biennial but previous ones as well.

“Sharjah is home to cricket enthusiasts of all ages. We believe that by hosting cricket tournaments, we strengthen the spirit of sportsmanship while bringing to life the artwork and making it accessible to the local communities. Our partnership with Sharjah Cricket demonstrates our commitment to further cultivate the rich culture of Sharjah and the UAE by promoting a participatory approach to art,” says Noora Al Mualla, Director of Learning and Research at Sharjah Art Foundation.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt wishes to the Sharjah Cricket Academy team as they gear up for the upcoming Junior Cricket tournament collaborated with Sharjah Cricket, which is being hosted by Sharjah Art Foundation. This collaboration is truly a wonderful initiative by Sharjah Art Foundation to develop grassroots level cricket. I am thrilled to see such efforts being made to promote the sport and provide opportunities for young talent to showcase their skills. We are proud to be a part of this endeavor and wish all the participating teams the very best. Sharjah Cricket is thrilled to be partnered with Sharjah Art Foundation to develop Grass Root Level Cricket in the region,” commented Khalaf Bukhatir, CEO at Sharjah Cricket.

Taking place from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the event is free and open to the public. To know more about the cricket tournament, click here.

About Across the Chalk Line (2015)

Expanding on Gary Simmons’ interest in drawing and sport as well as addressing a popular pastime of youths across Sharjah, Across the Chalk Line (2015) is a public art project in the form of a junior-sized cricket oval designed for neighbourhood children. A quote from CLR James’ 1963 book Beyond a Boundary demarcates the field’s boundary in four languages, asking ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’

The question is inspired by a line from Rudyard Kipling’s 1891 poem ‘The English Flag’: ‘What do they know of England who only England know?’ The quote, rendered in Arabic, English, Malayalam and Urdu, questions what those who play the game understand about its cultural and political significance. Simmons seeks to inspire viewers to question the significance of cricket with regard to race and class, both in their homeland and abroad, and to look beyond the rules of the game and consider its broader political meaning.

About Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. The Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region, and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.

About Sharjah

Sharjah is the third largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. It was named UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture for 1998 and the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019.

About Sharjah Cricket Academy

In 1985, Sharjah Cricket Academy was introduced at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium under the umbrella of Sharjah Cricket Council. It’s one of the oldest Cricket Academy in UAE and they have been playing a pivotal role in offering world-class training to over a hundred budding cricketers since its inception.

Each program is precisely designed in the academy by highly trained and qualified coaches to ensure that students go through training steps in a more professional manner and understand the nuances of the game. Headed by Farhan Siddique, the academy adorns top facilities to help budding cricketers get the best possible training.

Sharjah Cricket Academy holds various levels of teams which includes the youth, women and senior teams. The academy carries more than 150 players with ages ranging from 7-16, in addition to 20 girls considering that most of them have represented the women’s national team at different levels.

Media Contact

Alyazeyah Al Marri