Art as participation in other things.

Terry Duffy spoke at King’s College Chapel last night about his painting ‘Victim, No resurrection‘, which is being shown as part of an exhibition called ‘Stations of the Cross‘ at 14 locations around London. Duffy explained the symbolism of his painting, painted in 1982. The blurb handed out last night says it: “challenges people’s greater…

The tyranny of great spaces

Morocco is a country of great spaces. Whether these are winding mountain roads or straight roads across semi-desert, you expect to spend several hours in a car to get from one destination on the map to the next. Yet many traditional Moroccans live in casbahs – walled enclosures built by one or more family groups.…

Not new now – quoi de neuf la

The Marrakech Biennale “aims to provide for an intellectual framework that unites multiple arenas of art and cultures by looking at it from the particular location and history of the city of Marrakech. It builds on a longstanding history of Pan Afro-Arab unity, through critically investigating socio political projects, cultural partnerships, and art movements that…

Story telling

It is a warm, crowded afternoon on the Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh. Amongst the crowds and sideshows, a group of fifty or more, mostly men, mostly wearing the drab clothing of workers, stand in a tight circle, intent on what is going on inside. An English tourist stands on tiptoe at the edge of…

Into the mountains

As you have your breakfast, or buy diesel at a filling station, you see the distant, ethereal, snow covered Atlas mountains. Compared to the traffic and noise of Ouarzazate, the mountains seem to call you: they are cool, aloof, pure. They offer a vision of heaven, above the fuss and noise of this life. They…

Homage to Ralph Bagnold

When the English become eccentric, they do so thoroughly. Ralph Bagnold, (1895 to 1990), was a British army officer based in Egypt before the Second World War. In his spare time he and colleagues drove out of Cairo in precarious early vehicles, and explored the vast Western Desert developing new navigation and driving techniques in…