MOROCCAN CARAVAN 2020
I traveled with a little band of writers and artists, from Tangier, through the blue cities of Morocco in March 2020 – Chefchaouen, Fes, and the Riff Valley to the eastern edge of Sahara desert where we stayed at Cafe Tissardmine, an artist’s retreat situated in a small oasis village, finally ending in
Marrakech just as the Moroccan government issued a warning that in 10 hours, they were closing their border because of Co-vid 19. I left 2 days earlier than expected and made it home to Melbourne for a 14-day isolation.
Fascinated with the colourful Moroccan culture influenced by Berber, Arabian and European cultures and why writers and artists throughout time have been drawn to Morocco’s shores for inspiration? Artists like Henri Matisse and Eugene Delacroix leave us timeless colourful images that pierce our imagination and writers like Paul Bowles who spent a lifetime writing about Morocco and collaborating translations into English with Moroccan writers like Mohamed Choukri.
My intention for the trip was to tread lightly but immerse myself in the culture, the art and the landscape. To wander the narrow-cobbled streets of the old medinas. Explore the work of today’s artisans, the glazed ceramics, textiles, spices, metal work, jewellery and oils. To see the exquisite art of mosaic in humble and holy places.
Experience the natural landscape, its agricultural practices of crops and herds, desert life with its vast, mind opening drifts of sand rolling on forever.
Three glorious weeks of immersion, meditating, painting, writing and questioning.
Goats teeth and rusted wire
Writer, traveler-leads international creativity retreats. Come write with me at www.writersjourney.com.au
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Concertina book of collage, sketches and found objéts by artist Fiona Scottney
It is such a joy when artists join our creative journeys. While the workshops as we travel are mostly writing based, there’s always the option to respond to the guided meditations with brushes or coloured pens. I love the energy artists bring — always coming at the topic from a wonderfully left of centre place, offering a perspective that can only serve to liberate the literality of us boxed-in writers.
Ellen Michel has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Art Therapy. The winner of many awards, she has undertaken numerous community art projects and runs the Ellen Michel School of Painting in Melbourne.
They were participants on Moroccan Caravan 2020, a 14 day creative journey for writers and artists led by writer Jan Cornall. Organised in partnership with Cafe Tissardmine (Rissani) and Culture Vultures (Sefrou) it began in Tangier, taking in Chefchaouen and Fes and ending with a week at an artist’s retreat near Erg Chebbi.
Click Here to see other participants -artist’s creations from the Moroccan Caravan.
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