Morocco – Marrakech, Imlil, Essaouira

early spring 2015

It is difficult to concisely express the accumulated experience of 9 days (216 hours) in such a different culture and environment with a year old baby and loving partner. I was quietly determined to take only a few photos, to try to keep the experience more ‘whole’ through sensory memory alone. Of course, the phone camera was hard to resist and some moments were captured digitally both as sound and image, albeit rather inadequately, along with a handwritten list of bird and animal species. Suffice to say I also enjoyed some fantastic bundles of sticks, carried by people and animals alike, and a wonderful array of earth colours in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. But to sum up, the lingering sensation is that of movement, of change, of noise and smell and taste, of clamour, of conversations, of frustration, deliberation and joy, of meetings and departures, hellos and goodbyes, of a small boy waving and waving with a mouth full of berber bread and happy adoring faces, of colour, of heat, of wind and mountains and sea, of arid brightness and intensity, and then of a return to the soft, patchwork of rolling subdued earthy tones and a familiar English winter landscape from on high.

Here is a selection of the images taken by Francesca and myself (depending on who was holding the camera/baby at the time)…

bicycle-door-wall, marrakeck © f owen 2015bicycle-door-wall, marrakech © f owen 2015

dye smeared gateway, marrakeck tannery © f owen 2015dye smeared gateway, marrakech tannery © f owen 2015

rug showroom, marrakech tannery © f owen 2015rug showroom, marrakech tannery © f owen 2015

‘indigo’ scarf, marrakech wool dye shop © f owen 2015‘indigo’ scarf, marrakech wool dye shop © f owen 2015

bulbul; house bunting, marrakech © p ward 2015bulbul; house bunting, marrakech © p ward 2015

painted metal sheets, marrakech © p ward 2015painted metal sheets, marrakech © p ward 2015

rocks, tamatert, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015rocks, tamatert, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

sticks and blankets, aroumd, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015sticks and blankets, aroumd, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

firing the hammam, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015firing the hammam, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

painted path marker, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015painted path marker, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

boxes, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015boxes, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

graffiti, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015graffiti, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

stairwell, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015stairwell, imlil, high atlas mountains © p ward 2015

fish cart, essaouira © p ward:f owen 2015fish cart, essaouira © p ward/f owen 2015

palette, essaouira © p ward:f owen 2015palette, essaouira © p ward/f owen 2015

rubbed-down hull, essaouira © p ward:f owen 2015rubbed-down hull, essaouira © p ward/f owen 2015

earth juice stall, essaouira © f owen 2015earth juice stall, essaouira © f owen 2015

children’s mural project, essaouira © f owen 2015children’s mural project, essaouira © f owen 2015

old town, essaouira © f owen 2015old town, essaouira © f owen 2015

shops, essaouira © f owen & p ward 2015shops, essaouira © f owen & p ward 2015

evening promenade, essaouira © p ward:f owen 2015evening promenade, essaouira © p ward/f owen 2015

riad beldy, essaouira © p ward 2015riad beldy, essaouira © p ward 2015

collection, morocco © p ward 2015collection, morocco © p ward 2015

home again, the south downs from the plane © p ward 2015home again, the south downs from the plane © p ward 2015

Many thanks to Francesca, Noah and all the people and creatures of Morocco who made our time so good.

© p ward 2015


 

1. http://karol-kochanowski.com/ – a lovely artist we met in marrakech

2. http://www.galeriedamgaard.com/ – a great gallery showing distinctive primitive local art in essaouira

3. http://francescaowen.wix.com/arts  – the wonderful francesca owen no less…

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Karol 25215

.

I met a man in Marrakech from Manchester.

He was Polish.

He told me how the red-legged storks that reeled high above the Medina walls

Nested in his home town in Poland,

Migrating to spend their winters in Morocco.

 .

There was a certain poetry to his tale I felt

That made me smile.

.

I told him how the delicate Painted Lady Butterfly

Flew from Northern Africa and Spain

To southern England every year

To breed and to die.

memories of marrakech, earth pigments and gold powder paint on canvas © p ward 2015memories of marrakech, earth pigments and gold powder paint on canvas © p ward 2015

© p ward 2015