PAYSAGE EN MOROCCO
It is interesting to note, that I never feel the urge to do architectural depictions in South Africa. However, my visit to Greece in 1988 spawned a complete exhibition dedicated to the architecture in Athens and Sifnos.
I think ‘feeling safe in your environment’, allows ideas to flourish in a natural way. In South Africa, we have safety issues to consider and become reluctant to move around in the older parts of our cities that are steeped in character. I feel robbed of my sense of belonging, my roots, and I am only allowed fond memories of places I frequented in my youth.
When it became public knowledge that I would be visiting ancient Marrakech, Fez and Casablanca in 2005, the comments always centered around how ‘colorful Morocco’, would influence my work. The truth is that Morocco is colorless! It is a typical dessert city similar to Cairo, where the earthy coffee-, cream- and beige tints and hues of the inhabitants, architecture and surrounds, become the canvas on which the color is artificially added, by cleverly incorporating bright and colorful textiles and paint.
The local product ‘brou de Noix’ (extract of nuts) which is used by the calligraphers, was the medium with which I could express myself best.
Paysage en Morocco:’FES’ brou de Noix 490 x 370 mm 2005 sold
In this panorama or view on to ‘Fes’, I decided to omit more than half of the satellite dishes that were visible. (I simply found them too distasteful, as they had no place in the Biblical fragrance that emanates from this ancient city)
My vantage point for ‘Fes’, was the rooftop of a Persian carpet dealer. The top of the building was strewn with newly washed carpets that were drying in the sun. Although I had the luxury of a 360˚ view from where I stood, it was the tiny slice containing three Cypresses etched against the cloudless sky, which reminded me that besides myself, I was not the only ‘living one’ there. Although I knew that Fez was teeming with life, no living soul was visible from above. The Cypresses were guarding the secrets of the city like so many other sentinels one finds on guard at a cemetery.