All posts filed under: The Textile Journey.

Morocco No 3.

Photographs of the things I viewed in the Souks. I finally sat and had a mint tea, grabbing the sun as much as I could. The last place I visited was the Museum and Gallery. I walked on tiles magnificent, trying to ignore my painful foot. On to the photography Museum, a delicious late lunch fo Tanging Chicken And then I got totally lost, wandering and asking. Close to tears, I finally recognised my front gate and I was just in time to finish packing and leave for the airport. It was one heck of a day, over 10 kms of walking. But it was inspiring.

Textile styles in the making.

It’s taken me a while to write this story. Most of you on my blog, are quilters or love the art of Textiles. We have a textile advantage that we take for granted so today I share a story of art and experimental reinvention. Dena Crain a quilter from Kenya, taught the local ladies a technique called “Siddi” quilting. “What on earth is Siddi Quilting” you say? Basically its a style of quilt known as a Kawandi and it is made by the generations of Siddi people taken to India some 400 years ago as indentured workers… possibly slaves. Based on DNA information it would appear that about 50% of the Indian Siddi population are descendants of Bantus from East Africa, while many others are descendants of Ethiopians. Although the Siddis have adopted many Indian characteristics, there are still some cultural elements that are regarded as their own and of African origin. These include the making and use of patchwork quilts known locally as kawandi. These are made by women and used as covers, mattresses and …

Walk the Souks in Marrakech. – 1

  Take a walk with me through the Souk in Marrakech, a photographic tour.  We’ve been exposed to so many breathtaking things. Souks, that wind under huge sand coloured buildings lined with colourful things. It’s a maze of brilliant object d’art. But you share the confined spaces with motorbikes, donkeys, horses and hand pushed carts. It’s noisy, the smells are foreign and exotically sweet. During the day it is almost predominately men present and the stalls appear to be run by men rather than women. I’ve been chastised very loudly for photographing a fruit stall and yet invited to take photos in other places. Its quite cold, You have to layer and I would dearly love to be here in Summer. Marrakech has the largest traditional Berber market in Morocco and the image of the city is closely associated with its souks. Paul Sullivan cites the souks as the principal shopping attraction in the city, describing it as “a honeycomb of intricately connected alleyways, this fundamental section of the old city is a micro-medina in …

Great things.

No, indeed they didn’t. So with that quote in mind I find myself here in Marrakech Morocco, a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. I’m here with 60 other like minded people, husbands, wives and friends to experience the magic of Morocco. The group arrived yesterday and today we formally begin to sight see. I will be teaching two classes this afternoon. I took these images just across the street from our hotel in the  Gueliz. This part of the city was laid out in the twentieth century and shows a fusion of French and Moroccan architecture. There are modern buildings, wide boulevards, traffic circles, upscale hotels. The shopping looks fascinating but I enjoyed watching the street vendors making juice from bright red pomegranates, admiring the bread coated with something unknown and sitting on the pavement and tucking into a delicious meal of kababs cooked in front of you. The weather is cool and refreshing. Actually as I speak it’s 4 degrees Celsius  and despite being 6.38 am, dawn is still …

The little niggling things that pop up during travel.

8.30 am and we’ve had high drama this morning. We had a 6.00 am flight, so I set the alarm at 3.15 to leave for the airport at 4.00. All dressed, bags packed and I couldn’t find my passport folder. It’s always in my handbag but there was no sight of it. Unpack the four backs and two hand luggage cases. No sight. Look under the settee, under the bed. (I did find another remote!) Call Qantas in Australia and tell them we need to change flights and we have re-booked. We had a small sporty car and Enterprise offered to change it for a larger one last night. so we could fit our luggage in for the flight, which we did. But I left my passport folder in the locked glove box because we were sight seeing on the day we shifted hotels two days ago and I didn’t want to carry it with me. Sure I should have checked it last night. But the car yard would still have been closed. Had we …

The Taj Mahal.

India. Traveling out of Delhi we move in a stream of traffic. Our speed is slower than others on the road because there are new legislated speed limits for passenger buses and trucks, so we are passed by a ribbon of bikes and tuk tuks, hand on horn and a speed way attitude. Our driver is practiced at not coming to a screaming halt as a motor bike overtakes us and seemingly pulls in far too sharp, Well I’m putting my foot on the brake from the seat behind him. I’ll keep us safe. Like most large cities the sides of the roads are decorated with advertising, but even that is interesting, because now and then there is a huge picture of an elephants and I  even saw  a sign with a heard of water buffaloes that appearing fleetingly as we passed. The road signs are in English and Hindi and the advertising is all in English making this part of this trip to Agra  a normal city departure. We are stared at by the locals …

Days in the Indian Sun.

Day one of our Indian Textile tour. Take 12 people from 4 different countries who  know little about each other. Put them on a plane to  travel for 24 hours (or a little less) and they come together to create a memory in a country far from their home. The feeling  is carried forever, the experiences are exceptional and many years of  thoughts of the past are intensified with the images you carry in your heart and your hand. I don’t always give my memory the chore of storing the amazing things I see and do, I rely on my images. I know how to take a good picture, I’ve been practicing all my life, but if you don’t have the image experiences that I have, you can still learn to take a soul stirring picture to remind you of those wonderful moments.   That’s part of this happening. Early morning and the sun glowed orange and we took advantage of the cooler part of the day to visit India gate. India Gate is a memorial …

Colours in India.

I just have time for a short blog today, and these images were from a trip to Dilli Haat craft market in Delhi two days ago. I go there each year and its a good way to see products from all over India in one place. Sure, its a little commercial, but I enjoy the experience and I often buy a small piece of precious fabric. However, this art piece is 10 foot X 4 ft six inches, and now it’s mine. It’s hand embroidered Kantha on silk.

Continue the Journey.

The book of travels   Delhi My day began with the most delicious breakfast. Sitting in a restaurant where you look quite out of place is an interesting experience. I think I was the only European person visiting today. I sat amongst young women in beautiful Saris, Business men in suits and Indian tourists. Its exciting to see what is on offer for breakfast and my choice was baked yoghurt, Mint and lemon water, Ginger Tea, some bircher muesli, prunes and walnuts and a Masala Dosa. Finished with a much needed cappuccino. It was actually lunch time in Australia, so I took my time, did a little drawing and enjoyed the ambience. The the body said rest again and I laid on my couch covered myself with my white muslin cover and fell asleep until 12.30 pm. It’s been a quiet day, I’ve had a lot of work to complete and I’ve only had a short walk in the garden to get a little fresh air. Tomorrow I take the camera out to seriously capture …