TEXTILES TOUR with JENNY BOWKER AO
9 – 23 November 2020
Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, Sahara, Fes, Chefchaouen, Rabat
Travel with textile artist Jenny Bowker and explore the traditional Amazigh (Berber) crafts of Morocco at a grassroots level where women’s cooperative ventures present a range of textile creations melding age-old skills with new innovations.
In Marrakech we visit the exquisite new Yves Saint Laurent Museum featuring his fashion design as well as the Berber Museum that houses the Moroccan textiles and jewellery that inspired his work.
We then venture into the High Atlas Mountains and follow the ancient trade routes across the Tizi’n’Tichka Pass from Marrakech to the Sahara. Weavers of carpets and cloth, embroiderers and basket weavers are found in remote locations where they still employ their skills and maintain their traditional life style.
Next we make our way north to Fes and the blue city of Chefchaouen for a feast of colour and Islamic culture, finishing in the capital city of Rabat.
The tour includes hands-on experiences and demonstrations with local artisans. On the road in the mountains and Sahara we learn some exquisite embroidery techniques, tie knots to make rugs, explore some eco-dyeing using Rose Madder and Pomegranate.
Guest artist Jenny Bowker will share her skills and experience to allow participants to develop their ideas for textile design, drawing inspiration from the sublime landscape and rich cultural environment provided by the art and architecture of Morocco. The tour is not an intensive workshop as there is too much to see and experience in Morocco, but time will be devoted to sharing ideas, discussing colour, pattern, materials and trialling techniques for future development. You will be encouraged to keep a visual diary and create studies and samplers incorporating your ideas.
Accommodation is provided in the most comfortable traditional guesthouses, where we enjoy the extraordinary delights of Amazigh food and hospitality. You will discover the highlights of Morocco and the indigenous Amazigh culture that evolves and continues largely through the extraordinary textile traditions. We also enjoy music and a complete range of traditional cultural experiences and crafts.
Traveling with a small group of like-minded people and an experienced team of co-hosts the program offers an innovative and creative way to explore a new place that is stimulating, supportive and safe.
With a Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree, Jenny Bowker’s interest in pattern lead her to work in textiles. “I am interested in the way pattern comes into many parts of our lives and often include some geometrical piecing in my work as I think it keeps me technically on my toes…”
Having lived a total of fifteen years in Arab and Islamic countries including Syria, Jordan, Jerusalem and Egypt her love of the Middle East is reflected in her work.
A keen traveller, Jenny has lectured and taught in many countries around the world as well as the University of Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW and for the ADFAS (Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society.
Her expertise lies in textile design and she regularly teaches quilting and appliqué and design based workshops exploring ways to develop sample design ideas in paper.