I have really enjoyed creating the paper weaves. I feel they have allowed me to concentrate on portraying the material culture of Marrakech. However now I want to bring in more textiles into the work. I had spent so much time making a loom and learning basic techniques so I wanted to bring that back in. The craftsmen and the trade was something I found so fascinating to see all the skills.
Therefore I looked for an artist who could give me some inspiration for to do this. I found Ines Seidel and as an artist they use an array of objects,books and found materials.
I found this piece particularly inspiring and relevant. It gave me ideas of how to bring textiles back into my work. After dying my own fabrics and yarns I wanted to bring these into my work.
*Scanned in Weave*
I chose to bring in an image of the islamic college into the weft threads. I broke down the image with the woven textures. The warp threads were hand dyed and so were the tassels. The hand-rendered techniques emulates the craftsmen of Morocco. I also wanted to bring in leather to represent one of the leading trades in Marrakech. I decided to bring in a Berber pattern to combine the cultures. I decided to hand stitch it into the design.
This final weave was more experimental than most. I wanted to combine culture, colour and technique. I alternated two photographs as the weft threads; one of Berber patterns and one of Islamic tiling. The collaboration of patterns emphasises my purpose of combining all the cultures that fuse in Marrakech. The warp thread was hand dyed to the colour of the Marrakech buildings. I also brought in touches of leather and colours of the Jardin Marjorelle. This was to show all of the aspects that I found most inspiring in Marrakech.
Kate Williams’ work was eye catching to me as I wanted to bring in more colour into my work. I feel that the weaves that I created didn’t have a particular colour scheme and I feel that this effected the pieces and how they represented the Marrakech.
I feel that the colour was really important in Marrakech. There are plenty of options for colour ways inspired by Marrakech but I would like to use an array of colours. This will allow me to combine all the culture in Marrakech.
I decided to paint strips of colour found in my photographs. They were founded from different places in Marrakech; Jardin Majorelle; Souks and Islamic colleges.
This woven piece was mainly inspired by Berber culture. In Marrakech I took a day trip out to the Ouzoud Waterfalls and we visited a Berber Village. It was a fascinating day to leave the modern Marrakech which is a fusion of Islamic and African culture back to a Berber village. I felt like I got to see the native culture of the Saharan people. This image captured the rural area of the Atlas Mountains and the traditional use of donkeys in Marrakech. The stripes of colour are combinations of natural colours from Marrakech and the modern art of the Jardin Majorelle.
This piece was a combination of two photographs. One photograph is of the Jardin Marjorelle and the other of the top of the Marrakech Museum. Each photo captured the different colours of Marrakech. I then added strips of blue and yellow into the design with embroidery floss.
I feel that both of these woven designs represent the colours of Marrakech. I feel that the colour is really important to represent the culture; the colours in Marrakech are purposeful. The Terracotta/Pink colour of the buildings is to blend in with the landscape and to remain cool in the heat. The colour represents the climate of Marrakech.
Lydia Williams graduated from Manchester Met with a degree in Embroidery but specialises in hand woven fabrics. Within her work she experiments with a range of techniques and I was particularly inspired by her hand painted weaves. I thought they would be a great way for me to progress my work. I want to use weave as a metaphor for the textile trades in Marrakech however I feel that by using paper and hand painting weaves will allow me to easily incorporate all the cultures in Marrakech.
This weave was constructed from an image of the Koutoubia, which is the largest Mosque in Marrakech. I used this as the warp threads of the weave and painted the weft threads in ink. I used the colours of the Jardin Majorelle to bring in the contrasting modern art. I also used a minimal weave structure in the painting.
I used a similar process in this weave. I used one of my photos of islamic tiling and painted a Berber pattern over the top. I really liked the combination of colours in the weaves and how the patterns tied in well.
I felt that to develop my Marrakech project I needed to regroup my ideas. I decided to select three specific places and develop my primary research. I felt that this would allow me to really think about the concept behind my work rather than just the process. As I would like to carry on with the concept of combining all the diverse cultures that combine in Marrakech. Therefore the main places that I found so inspiring in Marrakech were Jardin Marjorelle, Souks, Musee Tiskiwin and Islamic College. All of these places held different cultural meanings and symbols.
I wanted to develop my drawing style and decided to use watercolours in most of work. This is because colour is so vivid in Marrakech so I wanted to emulate this. The Jardin Marjorelle was outstanding colour among the pink tone of Marrakech. The garden for me represents modern art in Marrakech but also has a museum in the Villa that is dedicated to the Berber culture. It was a great museum but unfortunately I couldn’t sketch or take photographs.
The Musee Tiskiwin was the first eye opening moment to me. I found it a really inspiring and this is why I chose this as one of the key places for my work. It really showed the Berber culture and how it have changed for and in Marrakech. The Berber culture is rich with history and textiles but is seen below the Islamic culture. In this image it combines the historic berber culture (trunk) set against the rich Islamic tiling. I think the combination looks beautiful and the compliment each other. This is something I would like to further in my work.
The Islamic college has been restored but it is absolutely breathe taking. It has never ending tiling patterns and arches. I felt that this was the perfect place to take inspiration from to portray the Islamic culture in my work. The tiling patterns will be taken further in my work.
The souks are a buzzing place of trade and tradesmen. I loved seeing the craftmens at work. The souks and the craftsmen were so inspiring to me as they have a wide variety of textiles. I was really taken back by the beauty of the weaves and I feel that this was why I got so involved in weaving during the project. However I want to use the weaving but not as a process but as a symbol for the craftsmen of Marrakech. It could also be a great way to combine the array of cultures in Morocco.
One particular piece of feedback that has stuck will me is that my chosen yarns didn’t reflect the materials used in Marrakech. I fully agree with this, I had gotten myself so caught up in the idea of learning weave I wasn’t even thinking about what I was weaving with. Therefore I made myself make shift dye baths. It was a sudden urge of inspiration in the evening so I did it at home.
I had bought the pigments in a pharmacy in Morocco. I only bought three and they were the terracotta colour that as on all the buildings in Marrakech; the Majorelle Blue and the complimenting yellow seen in the garden. I started by just dying a plain white yarn however they didn’t dye very well and I think this is probably due to the fibre content of the yarns. The yellow created a cream, the blue was purple however the terracotta created a light pink shade which very much reminded me of the buildings and floors of Marrakech.
I then decided to venture further and then put in some fabrics. They are currently still dying so I look forward to seeing how they turn out.
After receiving my feedback for my Morocco work was was deeply disappointed. In my work I had thrown myself into weaving and tried something new. I think I decided to do this as I was so inspired by the craftsmanship in Marrakech and wanted to emulate that. Down ever street in the Marrakech there were woven rugs hanging from every wall and this is an image that has stuck in my head since returning. I think my vision was so clouded by all of the immense sites and senses that I lost my way in this project. I wanted to emulate what I had found the most inspiring rather than referencing back to the brief.
The main part of the brief was to understand material culture and values. In Marrakech there was an obvious emphasis on craftsmanship and the main markets were woven rugs, ceramics, leather good and metals. Along with spices and pharmaceuticals these were the main tradable goods in the souks. The tradable goods reflect a lot about their culture as they stem from what they had available to them.For example Argan Oil; know in western countries as Moroccan Oil; is made from the Argan tree which is an abundance in Morocco. Also leather goods spans back to medieval times. I would have liked to visit the tanneries however after Alexandros have an unfortunate experience we were advised against it. However I found this useful article:
In Marrakech there is a broad history and this can be seen by the combination of Arab and Berber culture. It was instantly clear to me as soon as we arrived that the history was rich and complicated as the first language was french which is something I didn’t expect. When visiting the Musee Tiskiwin and discovering the saharan artefacts and crafts I felt like a switch had clicked and something I wanted to emulate in my work was the combination of cultures that have all settled and merged in Morocco. The owner of Musee Tiskiwin was so passionate about the Berber people and their lives he told us so much information. His passion for the berber culture is something I would never forget.
I feel that I have had time to reflect on Marrakech and all the things I experienced. It was a lot of information to take in and I feel that that confusion reflected in my work. I would like to carry on with weaving but instead of using it as a form of construction using it to symbolise the craftsmanship. I would like to further the idea of collage as I think its a great way to drive the collaboration of cultures. I think the first step for me is to highlight seem key points of interest in Marrakech and use them as inspiration to create textiles pieces. I will do some more research into different artist who use weave and collage.