Thursday, 19 May 2016

5 things about Tangiers: with Rima Farah

By artist Rima Farah


I first met Rima when I moved to Assilah and she fast became both a reference point for where to find ANYTHING in Tangiers as well as a friend who provided an often much needed voice of calm in the madness that can be Tangiers.
Her art, like her is one of quiet patience as she interprets the lyrical shapes and forms of arabic calligraphy onto canvases and ceramics.

When I asked her to list me her "5 things about Tangiers " her reply was less about specific people and places, and more about the essence of the city:

#1: The sea - surrounded by both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, I feel at the edge of the world.

#2:The topography - I love the hills and the open green spaces, the plants, the flowers. The space keeps me fit!

#3: The birds - the migrations twice a year with the storks everywhere, and birdsong. 
Lots of open  and magical skies and that special light for painters.

 #4 The food - lots of fresh fish, markets full of local seasonal produce and a huge variety - totally spoilt!

#5 The people - both the Moroccan and non-moroccan, Tangiers is like an airport, people coming in and out and lots of languages, stories, interests and characters - Never a dull moment!

More recently Rima has embarked on a project of getting little pieces of "baraka" woven onto cushions  But more about that later . . . !

For more about Rima and her art:

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Mouad Aboulhana . . .and my moroccan art collection

Well, the term "collection" is possibly a slight exaggeration, but it is something I aspire to, and with this in mind I decided to make a start.
These three prints by Mouad are in fact that start - I received them minutes before I left on my last visit to Tangiers at a hastily arranged coffee shop assignation - all very exciting, involving numerous messages, messengers and motorbikes!!
They are now sitting unfurled and unframed on my office table.

And here they are again below as a group and a little easier to view!
  The iconic moroccan babouche with a typical textile design in the background.These prints are full of references that I relate to. 

So a little more about the artist: Mouad Aboulhana

How would you describe your style?
My style is pure Moroccan Pop art and when we say Morocco, it is in fact a large melting-pot of cultures and traditions, from the Berber, the Arabs to Islam and international modernity.
So, you can say that my style is a mix of all these beautiful influences.
What are the techniques you use?
For me, techniques always evolve as your art matures! From graphic art using different inks on paper, to street art and painting on the walls of Medina of Tangier (North of Morocco), using stencils and spray paint. It is only three years ago that I started experimenting with digital art by mixing illustrations and images.

One of the images he is most known for is his "Tarbouch Kid"

Tell us about the "Tarbouch Kid" artwork? What does it represent?
Tarbouch Kid is a symbol for pure Berber-Arab-Muslim personality. This kid represents me in so many ways, he represents the community. Sometimes people ask “Why he is sad?” but in reality he is not sad at all; maybe he is shy, or simply tired because life in our society is hard. Also, kids are never two-faced, they always say the truth! Technically, the character was taken from a smart perspective and angle: his clothes are simple with his red Fez Cap and in the background, a Zellige mosaic.

(copy credit via:Re-volt Mag, ISSUE 16 - AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2015)


or follow Mouad on




to keep up to date with his work and 

exhibitions (he has a solo exhibition coming up in Dubai soon!)

I love the rich traditional aesthetic that Morocco has to offer -  its colours, pattern and textiles. The more time I spend there, the more I appreciate how contemporary artists are interpreting these traditions. I would love to include more of this work in my shop shouf{look} - so watch this space and I will let you know as soon as we have prints available online.

 And to conclude, another favourite. 
Remaining true to my South African roots I think this will have to be added to my gallery soon . . .