Winners of the prestigious Noon Arts Award have been presented with their prizes, during an online awards ceremony posted on the YouTube channel of Sharjah Ladies Club under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of Sharjah Ladies Club. Her Highness delivered the opening speech praising the creativity of all the participates and encouraging them to continue to express themselves through the arts.
The Noon Arts Award is a highly competitive event, attracting some of the most talented female artists from across the United Arab Emirates. This year was no exception, with 240 participants representing 25 different nationalities, and 36 artworks qualified to be showcased at the online-only exhibition.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Because I Can’, reflecting the challenging year we’ve experienced and the incredible human strength shown. The awe-inspiring artwork put before the judging panel made choosing the winners exceptionally difficult, but after long deliberation, Sharjah Ladies Club were able to announce the top three selected artists and the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
Due to Covid-19 precautions, the ceremony was converted to a virtual event. Collage Talent Center was pleased to announce that first place was awarded to Salma Mohamed Elbanna, for her stunning drawing entitled ‘Nothing Can Stop Us’, depicting the struggle to ward off sadness and loneliness while unable to meet with loved ones.
Second place was given to Gomathi Sivasubramanian, whose breath-taking portrait entitled ‘Akhdir’, shows finding hope in the face of difficult times, while third place went to Vinati Shah, for her fantastic photograph entitled ‘A Story in Every Wrinkle’, which also spoke of hope and positivity. The coveted People’s Choice Award was given to Abeer Al Ledani, whose drawing of close-knit family ties, entitled ‘Family (Stay Home)’, won the most votes from the audience who viewed the exhibition online.
During the ceremony, Sharjah Ladies Club’s Director General, Khawla Al Serkal, thanked Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi for her ongoing support of the Noon Arts Award and went on to say: “These awards are a true celebration of the arts and have always provided an incredible platform for the artistic abilities of women throughout the region. This has been a year more trying than any other, but art has acted as a beacon of hope.”
“Although this year’s exhibition and ceremony have gone virtual, it has allowed us to reach a far wider audience. The Noon Arts Award is – and will always remain – a place for making that human connection, more desperately needed at this time than ever before.”
Speaking after the ceremony, Fatima Alnaqbi, the Collage assistant manager, said: “The award has played an important role in encouraging female artists to hone their skills and share their talents with the world. The Noon Art Gallery has long been a place for complete creative expression. We are committed to our continued support of the arts, with various programs and cultural events already planned for the coming months and years.”
Sharjah Ladies Club also extended their thanks to this year’s Noon Arts Award sponsors, including Kashkha and Lifestyle Fine Jewellery. For those interested in viewing or buying, all 36 shortlisted artworks can still be seen at the official Sharjah Ladies Club website, www.slc.ae.