Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Alhambra was so lovely, a million photos would not exhaust its scenery, peaceful even with all the people....gorgeous, serene, idyllic, beautiful, gob-smacking...superlatives are not enough...you get the idea.

The carving on the walls was similar to work I have seen in India pre Murgal times, very deeply worked and creates such pleasing to the eye relief work.

scenes from the Alhambra down to the old town full of life, tapas bars, music and where I will call home with my groups...

16 March 2008,

I am so exhausted, I am really an old chook, I am very busy and active when on tour or teaching, the rest of the time I spend in the studio or at the computer and get no exercise at all!
I can see what it is doing to me I get fatter by the year and less energetic, I am always tired because there is so much activity or not enough…I think my quest for this year should be to find balance…it will only happen if I put the effort in!

Well I have been running around like a chook without a head but this old chook has her head very firmly tired on. I have been checking out the highlights of the area- fun and beautiful [ I can’t wait to return!] and looking at hotels, restaurants, transport etc, etc…all the details I need to cover.
Today I am leaving Granada.
What a beautiful place the Alhambra is extraordinary, an earthly paradise which was the intention of the Moors who designed her.
It is built according to Islamic traditions and makes me realise what is missing from some of the Palaces in India. Many too were designed upon Islamic tradition but the English, when they were the rulers removed the gardens and planted lawns.
Seeing the beauty and smelling the beauty of the gardens here I can add that layer through my imagination to my Indian palaces and see the heaven on earth they were intended to be.
Walking in the gardens and in the streets of the city the scent of citrus blossom abounds- wonderful, and freisia in window boxes, myrtle bushes in the gardens, roses just staring to come out a few peonies and many other scents were wafting on the air...

I also visited the Cathedral, which had on display cloaks embroidered in gold and silver threads that belonged to Ferdinand and Isabella, 15 century, the guys who wrested Spain back from the Moors and sent Christopher Columbus on his travels… mighty legends of history for me!
And a gorgeous illuminated manuscript- something for the creative journalists of my proposed tour to aim at! And many other visual delights.
I have been having fun, this tour I am researching for is planned to be a creative journey- we will have cultural things to look at and experience tracing Moorish influences here in Spain [wonderful food, tapas, flamenco dance, architecture, arts etc] and I am planning a series of exercises to delve deeper into one’s creative side- this really is going to be a moving workshop set in a wonderful classroom- Andalusia and Morocco.

So as I am visiting each location I want to use I am working on some ideas for exercises [a bit of focused daydreaming, gathering a few thoughts, words, sketches or photographs….]- nothing arduous, just fun but I am sure they will be enjoyable to discuss as we meet over a cool drink in the evening and participate in the national sport of watching people promenade past our cafĂ© and at the end of our travels we will have a wonderful travel journal that for those so inclined will be full of beginnings for projects back home.

Back to the Alhambra- the Moorish tiling would make spectacular quilt designs, so would some of the ceilings and as paintings they would be wonderful…or small, rich embroideries, the gardens for sketching, the pools full of fish and soothing reflections for contemplation…I have been out of inspiration for a while to busy to think of the studio but the rich ochre and sienna colours of the walls studded with bluish rocks gives me new inspiration for a felted silken wall panel when I get home and/or perhaps a series of machine sketches….
Many of the walls of the Moorish palaces have poetry written in Arabic to create part of the deigns of the walls and to add to the enjoyment of those who dwelt there, what a lovely idea.

Off to Tarifa today- I will be able to see Africa across the Straights of Gibraltar tonight and Tangiers tomorrow. I have seen some examples of Moroccan textile here and hope to see more – quite a rich earth coloured palette and robust weaving techniques I have a feeling it will bring the ‘I wants’, still as they say in India “ Madam you only have to look…” and I will need to keep saying that to myself! I can’t carry anything THIS trip.

1 comment:

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