Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marrakech Bakery

Bakers Tiles - Marrakech  36" x 36" Mixed media and oil on wood panel

When I was in Marrakech earlier this year I hired a guide to help me make the most of my limited time in the city. I wanted to wander the souks and alleyways in the medina and see things I might otherwise miss. It worked - I was able to get a brief  "behind the scenes" glimpse of local life.

One of these glimpses was a visit to a neighborhood baker... down an alleyway, through a door, down some steps into a low, dark room. A hot bread oven was set low in the corner and a man, using long poles, was sliding flat trays of dough into the fire. Local women had made the dough at home and had brought it here to be cooked. Each waiting tray had a symbol telling the baker where the bread belonged.

Looking at the trays lined up on the floor made me look at the floor itself.... it seemed ancient. It was poor and grubby, lined with old hand-made tiles. No tile matched its neighbor. There were gaps filled with dirt. And yet it was exquisite! The stoic subtlety of this floor with its cracked and aged patina made the new tiles for sale in the markets outside seem suddenly bright and brash. 

The painting above is a composite of my memories of a day wandering around the medina.   

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