While the world’s media focuses on the opening of the new Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts (MMPVA) other, equally as exciting, developments continue apace in the city.
Quietly but confidently the Fondation Alliances have been working hard to bring an enormous outdoor exhibition, the first of its kind in Africa, to Morocco.
Newly opened, the Al Maaden Sculpture Park is located at the well-known Al Maaden Golf Resort. The space has been created by both Moroccan and international artists, with collectors Alami and Farida Lazraq spearheading the project.
Initially, 25 Moroccan and international artists were invited to propose sculptures, with 12 striking sculpture works picked after the selection process.
These works, by French, Moroccan, Algerian, Chinese and Egyptian artists, are currently on view. The sculptures have been carefully chosen by a committee on account of their artistic merits and their fit with the locale. Antonio Segui’s giant 8-metre high sculpture Golfista Anecdotique (Anecdotal Golfer) fits with its setting perfectly, as does Yazid Oulab’s Montagne (Mountain).
See www.almaaden.com and www.fondationalliances.org for more information.
If you are in Marrakech between the 8th to the 12th of January, head along to the Théâtre Royal to see Lucinda Arundell’s wonderful art exhibition.
The show is called Ben Salah Medina and the artist – who trained under Robert Lenkiewicz for several years – will be at the exhibition most days to talk about her work.
The artist lives and paints in Marrakech and is well-established having won the Lloyds Art Group prize in 2008 and having exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London and various other British galleries.
She is most noted for her series ‘Floating Girls’ which contains recurrent themes which run throughout her work. Floating, sleeping, freedom and children all feature regularly.
More recently, Arundell’s work has focused on trying to capture the life of the people in the Ben Salah quarter in Marrakech’s Medina –which is what this show is all about.
The exhibition is in aid of the Ben Salah Association for Social Development and admission is free.
Find out more, here: http://www.lucinda-arundell.com/
An artist’s retreat with a difference, Al Maqam is located in the village of Tahanaout in the lower reaches of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Al Maqam means ‘The Place’ in Arabic and it serves not only as an artist’s colony but also as gallery, library and a place to stay. There is nothing else quite like it in Morocco.
The painter Mohamed Mourabiti has been setting up Al Maqam for over a decade and now, carefully installing traditional home-wares and local paintings and now photographers, writers and artists flock to the centre to share ideas and inspiration. It is a supportive environment, and for those who struggle to pay the €50 for nightly accommodation, they have the option to pay with paintings or poems instead.
This unique, quiet place hosts workshops and also has paint materials for sale and a conference room – everything in fact that the artist needs. On average 100 international artists are hosted a year, and there are regular guests like the painter Abderrahim Yamou (www.yamou.com) and the French writer Michel Butor.
You can find out more here: http://almaqam.eklablog.fr/