For the second field option, I decided to apply for a place on the Global Cultural Collaboration trip to Marrakech, Morocco. I have always enjoyed travelling and find that it is not only an enjoyable experience to delve into a completely different culture but that I also gain huge amounts of inspiration for my work.
The trip to Marrakech has influenced my studies a lot. In my subject project I am focusing on geometric patterns that are found in African countries. Therefore this trip has given me a huge array of visual imagery and other pieces of inspiration to use for both my field and subject projects. The trip has also influenced my work in constellation as for my dissertation I believe I would like to focus on femininity and gender and how views are different in different cultures. The culture difference between ours and the Moroccan culture including how women are viewed in their country was quite shocking but also an area of interest to me.
I felt that visiting Marrakech, Morocco was an invaluable experience. I feel that I have come back from the field trip with a new concept of how I work and also the areas which I feel I would like to explore and delve into more. I have been inspired by what I have seen as a designer and I also have a new appreciation for our culture – I feel thankful for what I have and the country I have been brought up in. Seeing the cultural differences was definitely a slight shock to the system, the biggest of all how women are treated and their roles in society. This for me is the biggest difference between our cultures.
The work I have produced for this project was inspired by what I have seen on my visit to Marrakech. The main areas of inspiration for me included colour and pattern and how everything was handmade. The craftsmanship involved in creating everything was amazing and the standards of the work produced were very high. It has made me consider that I would like to create more work by hand instead of relying on using digital machinery, though these can involve artistic ability I feel that true skills will be more evident when things are created solely by hand. My main area of focus on the trip was taking inspiration from the patterns in the tiles and stucco which are found in every building. I drew from these patterns and focussed on using the colours of the city; the terracotta from the buildings and the simple primary colours from the tiles.
I decided to keep a day to day diary as a kind of keep sake but also as an aid memoir when working from my drawings and photographs once we had returned from Marrakech. This was a very helpful tool for me.
My three final samples encompass these three main areas of inspiration into designs. My favourite sample of the three is the piece with fabric manipulation and painted bonda web. I feel that the piece incorporates the colours of the city, the texture of the stucco, the geometric pattern from the tiles and the handmade aspect. I also liked the idea that you can’t quite see the patterns of the bonda web reflecting the idea that you cannot see whats on the inside of the buildings in Marrakech as they all look the same on the outside.
I enjoyed the field trip because of the amount we had planned every single day, I wanted to take part in every opportunity given to me. My favourite part of the trip was shopping in the souks and bartering with the sellers of the stalls. I also enjoyed visiting the museums and landmarks of the city and enjoying the Moroccan cuisine.
Today I created my second sample in the stitch room using two of the techniques we’d learnt over the past few weeks. I wanted to bring together the main aspects I had been inspired by in Marrakech, I chose to dye my fabric in a terracotta coloured dye but only left it in the dye bath for a short amount of time to achieve this kind of light pink dusky colour o symbolise the ‘Pink City’. I then used a variety of different colours (all from the colours I saw whilst in Marrakech) when I painted on bonda web to achieve a ‘busy’ appearance. I used a simple repeat pattern as the base design. And then used stocking to create some texture but also add another more geometric shape pattern to the design. I wanted to bonda web pattern to be slightly hidden in that you can’t really see it’s there without looking – in Marrakech I thought it was amazing that all the houses and buildings looked the same on the outside, yet had hidden beauty, patterns and colours on the inside. This is the concept I wanted to portray in this sample. I also wanted to run with the handmade aspect I was so highly inspired by in Marrakech, the only ‘machines’ I used to create this was an iron and a sewing machine for the primary pleats in the design. I’m very happy with the results, I only wish it could’ve been slightly bigger, a lot of the fabric is reduced when the pleats are added and the fabric is manipulated.
To create this sample I used my own dyed fabric which I mixed the dyes to get the exact colour I required. I then took inspiration from a tile from Marrakech and a drawing that I had done of this tile. I used inspiration from the main colours I saw in Marrakech and used hand embroidery to experiment with more handmade techniques rather than relying on machinery all the time. I have not created a sample like this before and hand embroidery is out of my comfort zone as I usually prefer to draw with free hand machine stitch, I’m happy with the outcome and feel that if I had more time I could develop this pattern further, perhaps repeating it or scanning it into photoshop.
Session two was all about texture, we created texture by manipulating fabric in different ways including Canadian smocking.
Triangular Canadian smocking – a different pattern to follow creates this change in style. I struggled with this pattern! (The Back)
Front of Triangle pattern.
I experimented in creating my own pattern to follow to see what shapes and textures would be created. It was not very successful at all, the pattern I had created was too complicated to follow.
Here is a technique where you create pleats using a sewing machine and then use hand stitch to secure certain points together whilst leaving other parts loose, it ends up creating a really interesting geometric pattern. I really enjoyed using this technique and found it was the most successful of tall the ones I tried. I think I will use this technique for of one my samples. I will use a larger piece of fabric though as about 2 thirds of the fabric is used up in the pleating and manipulation so this example here is very small.
I didn’t do as many drawings and paintings in Marrakech as I would’ve liked but here are a few of my favourites..
As you can see, I was most intrigued and interested by pattern and shape which I found in mostly tiles in Marrakech but also doorways and other objects. I will be developing these drawings into samples and using them in workshops.
I forgot to post all the goodies I bought when in Marrakech..
Here’s a few, I can’t post them all because some are gifts!
Our last day! Emily, Laura, Rachel, Lucy and I decided to spend our last day in the souks and stalls near our Riad spending the last of our money.
I was so sad to leave and definitely want to return and visit the pink city again. There’s so much to do and explore. I really did love the hustle and bustle of the city and how busy it was all the time! Cardiff really is going to feel quiet on our return.
The areas which most inspired me in Marrakesh are the:
Tiles – the patterns, repeats, geometrics, simplicity yet detailed.
Stucco – pattern & texture
Colour – Majorelle blue, terracotta from buildings, primary colours used everywhere – red, yellow, blue – simplistic colours.
Hand-made – Everything was handmade! Inpsiring, try not to use machines as much in my own work?
These elements are things I would like to combine in my own samples when I get back to Cardiff to produce a body of work which I feel fully encompass what I feel Marrakech is. The designs I create will be a mixture of simple designs and more complex textured samples to show the two sides of the city which I have experienced.