As winter approaches I seem to be moving into another busy period of exhibitions and I am stressed, particularly as my next is on another continent!
After many solo exhibitions in the UK, this will be my first international exhibition. The show takes place in the exotic ‘Red City’ of Marrakech in southern Morocco, within the heart of the ancient walled Medina (city). As those of you who know me, and my work will know, I love Morocco and have been travelling there regularly since 2010. I was first inspired to visit after reading a magical book by writer Tahir Shah called In Arabian Nights. My experiences in Morocco have not disappointed, it’s as if I’ve been living in the Arabian Nights for real!
Marrakech has an amazing internationally recognised art scene with many contemporary artists and innovative galleries combined with a rich artisanal heritage. Some highlights include: the starting of the Marrakech Biennale in 2004 by Vanessa Branson with the aim of encouraging dialogue and diversity among international and local art communities; the Jardin Majorelle in the new town offers a peaceful garden setting and gallery of works designed by former owner Yves Saint Laurent; the Maison de la Photographie, a three-storey town house is a public archive of life in Morocco with photographs that date from the 19th Century.
Also, the Marrakech International Film Festival recently had its 15th successful year; and work has commenced on a new building for the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts which once complete will be the world’s largest freestanding museum dedicated to photography.
Image from Dezeen
Marrakech is famous for its main square, Jemaa el Fnaa, which has a UNESCO designation as a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’. This is because the square has been host to an active concentration of traditional activities by storytellers, musicians and performers, for over 1000 years. My photography is often heavily influenced by storytelling and having previously created work inspired by Celtic lore, in parallel I have also sought to explore similar themes within Moroccan culture, drawing on their strong heritage of myths and tales, linking the physical and spiritual worlds.
Hush of a Shadow a collection of some of this recent work can be viewed in the gallery at Marrakech Henna Art Café from 4 November 2016 through to 30 January 2017 where visitors to the exhibition can view and purchase Limited Edition pieces.
As if that were not exciting enough, the opening week of Hush of a Shadow coincides with a photography tour of Southern Morocco, with Galloway Photographic Collective! As a regular traveller in this beautiful and magical country, I create unique photographic tours of Morocco, directly aimed at photographers of all abilities. So if photographing Morocco is on your bucket list, please get in touch with me. More details of the packages on offer will be listed here soon.
"Our morning with Laura in the Medina was a real highlight. Marrakech is such a photogenic city and to see it through Laura's eye was an utterly pleasurable experience. We explored secret markets, stunning stalls, cultural sights and met all manner of wonderfully photo-friendly subjects. This is one of the most fun ways to explore the souks and is thoroughly recommended."
Mr A Conti, Passeport Travel
Laura Hudson MacKay