When I first moved to Marrakesh years ago it was what first drew me into the city life of this fantastic place. Marrakech has some of the most diverse and prestigious galleries in the entire world. However, what I love about my city is that art is not just confined to those four walls. Art in Marrakech and across the Kingdom surrounds and immerses you.
Many buildings and homes within Marrakech are decorated with fine craftsmanship, and age-old creative practices can clearly be seen wherever you wander; the souks especially are a great place to find unique paintings, sculpture and carvings.
The museums and galleries of Marrakech do a fantastic job of showing off the art of Morocco. One thing that always astounds me when I visit the galleries is the intermingling of Moroccan and European art. This first struck me when I discovered the Matisse Art Gallery on my doorstep in Marrakech. Apparently Henri Matisse spent months in Morocco in 1912, working on over twenty canvases! The gallery is a stunning old villa, and you can almost imagine Matisse strolling through, gaining inspiration, gazing at the mixture of traditional Moroccan art and the new young talent on display.
It’s by far one of my favourite galleries; however I find if you really want taste of Moroccan heritage alongside fabulous artworks you need to visit Jardin Majorelle. With a fantastic blend of Art Deco and Moorish architecture, an awe inspiring colour scheme and a beautiful 12 acre garden, it has a wide variety of exhibits, and the Museum of Amazigh Culture is also on the site.
I try and visit one of the Galleries or Museums every weekend if I can, and each time I go the collections seem to have changed. The David Bloch Gallery is one of the leading contemporary galleries in Morocco and my favourite part of the whole experience must be the approach to the building. There are two large windows allowing you to peer inside, plus the artists often take it upon themselves to adorn the building in some astounding creation or other. If I’m looking after my nieces and nephews then the Marrakech Museum or Dar Si Said Museum always proves a great success.. The museums have every curiosity and wonder of the world you can imagine and there’s even a chance for the kids to interact with the objects.
The art of Morocco generally, but in my own experience primarily in Marrakech, is so immersive and inclusive, that even after years of living here I still find it hard to think of a better way to while away my time at the weekends.