• Morocco

    Oct. 14 - Nov. 19, 2016

    Opening reception:
    Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
    7:30 - 9:30 pm

    Thielsen Gallery
    1038 Adelaide St. N.,
    London, Ontario
    N5Y 2M9

    Tel. 519 434 7681

    Morocco - 2015

    On the north-west corner of the African continent sits the Kingdom of Morocco. It is a country that is partly European, partly Berber and Arab, partly African, modern yet ancestral with a fascinating contrast of divergent cultures, climates and geography.

    Although a stones-throw from southern Spain, it is wholly Islamic and deeply traditional. Moroccans trace their past deep into Arab ancestry or back to the ancient Berber tribes. In the latter part of the 1880s and early 1900s France and Spain carved up Morocco in large zones of influence. Although the colonization has ended, the legacy of occupation of Morocco is still apparent.

    With its independence in 1956 the country came under the governance of a constitutional monarchy. Its current king, Mohammed VI, like his father, is said to be the direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed. And although there is an elected legislature, Mohammed VI retains executive power over Morocco’s government and people.

    I went to Morocco in the spring of 2015 with Intrepid Travel who specializes in guiding small ten-person groups. Our itinerary covered a wide geographical range and cultural interests that took us to the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlas, Rif Mountains and the Sahara Desert.

    Our travels included: the picturesque town of Chefchaouen, with its intensely blue washed walls; Marrakesh, with its huge market square and exquisite Majorelle Garden; Fez and its medieval tannery and traditional mosaic and ceramic artisans; the ancient desert town of Ait Benhaddou, the locale for shooting numerous films including Gladiator; the frontier town of M’ Hamid on the edge of the Sahara and the jumping off point for caravans, camels and desert camps; the bustling fishing port of Essaouira with its multitude of blue painted wooden boats; Volubilis’s extensive hill-top Roman ruins; the isolated village of Imlil, deep in the High Atlas Mountains; the sea-side promenade of Tangier; and the old medina and souks of Casablanca.

Essaquira #2, watercolour, 10.5" x 14", 2016

Tangier, 10.5" x 14", watercolour, 2015

Market Square, Marakesh #3, mixed media, 13.5" x 21.5", 2016

Market Square, Marakesh #1, mixed media, 10.5" x 14", 2015

Chouwara Tannery, Fez #1, mixed media, 14" x 21", 2015