Well it’s here, it’s happening. It is with deepest gratitude to my sponsors & supporters that my artistic dream is funded and is coming true!! I thank each one of them for deeply believing in me and my value as an artist, bringing my visions into the world. This is really beyond priceless to me.
It was October 1991 since the one & only time I went to the Alhambra Palace – I am so excited to return! It had a profound effect on me as a young artist. Above are pictures of me then from that European trip where I also studied art at an International Program in Italy (doing figure drawings and abstract paintings) then traveled through Europe, backpacking for 4 months.
My Dream Project for 2018: For the past year I have been deeply longing to travel to southern Spain to Seville and Granada to see The Alhambra Palace and then to travel to Morocco (Fez, Marrakech, etc.) this spring (March/April) for 3 weeks. Really – I’ve been obsessed since last August when I first pitched it for an art grant application I eventually didn’t get. But it felt to me like a deep calling I had been having like the hero’s journey. I tried to ignore it at first, and then it kept at me harder until I was obsessed to make it happen.
My paintings are deeply influenced and inspired by Arabic/Islamic ornamentation (also ornamentation from Japan & India & elsewhere). At 25 years old on that trip I was forever changed by the Moorish tiles, art & architecture I saw there. My work had naturally been going in that decorative direction already, but the visual language I encountered opened up new worlds & possibilities to me. Two years later I studied Islamic Art History while in Graduate School in New York (and going to the Met’s Islamic Dept every Friday), and have been studying the ornamentation and sacred geometry ever since. As a young woman traveling alone I didn’t feel safe to go to Morocco then, but now I get to for the very first time (with family in tow).
I am deeply invested in being affected by the Arabic/Islamic ornamentation and culture and this is what I am most interested in being exposed to on this trip. Additionally, I am interested in the Jewish cultural history (we’ll be visiting those quarters & synagogues as well), the mixing of the Berbers, and to a lesser extent the Christian influence (but of course that is big, just a bit of historical trauma there though). I am a Jewish woman with Buddhist and Yogic practices, using mystical visual languages of world cultures. This is a tremendous opportunity for cultural exchange at a time that the world really needs the embrace of such endeavors. And it will imprint me as an artist in expansive and exciting new ways that I cannot predict.
Isn’t it the case with travel? With a quest? I’ve planned and organized to the umpteenth degree as I do, and now is the time to let go of all that in order to meander, to wander, to allow and discover. I will be wandering those old medieval, labyrinth medinas in Fez & Marrakech – getting lost for sure and getting re-found. I will see spice bazaars and water clocks, do an Islamic calligraphy workshop, see the magnificence of the architecture, the muquarnas, the tiles, the fountains, the hammams. I will see snake charmers and monkeys and ride a camel in the Sahara desert at sunset. I will have mint tea. I will drink in the magnificence of the sacred spaces and light of the palaces and medrasas, and the gorgeous design of courtyards and interior rooms and arches. I will take it all in.