MARGARET ENGLAND: Collage, Assemblage & Site Specific Installation

margie-thumb21 October – 3 November 2013

This 14 day adventure with guest artist Margaret England follows the ancient trade route from Marrakech to the Sahara, traversing the Atlas Mountains and oasis valleys, then on to the imperial cities of Fez and Rabat.

Exploring the art and culture of Morocco with a special focus on Amazigh (Berber) life, participants will respond to the experience through drawing, collage, assemblage and site specific works and record their experience by developing a personal ‘artists book’.

Margaret England is a master at ‘gleaning’ and her work brings together the remains of various human or natural processes, anything from fish bones left on the plate following a family dinner, to old remnants and relics. Even birds that happen to fall out of the sky!

Primarily an immersive, cultural tour of Morocco, artists traveling with Margaret will respond to their experience in a variety of ways including ‘gleaning’. Not just scouring the famous souks for trash and treasure, but also the gathering of ideas in a visual diary and an ‘artists book’ that will be the main focus of the project. Some objects in Morocco can not be taken back to Australia or will be too big to carry, so this gathering of ideas becomes critical. Other things may become part of site specific ephemeral works en route – installations in the Atlas Mountains or sand drawings in the Sahara.

Traveling in Morocco in 2011, Margaret was struck by the wonderful relationship the Amazigh people have with the land – a connection that they have negotiated over centuries – and how their ancient traditions have endured the Arab Islamic overlay introduced in the 7th century and the various other influences brought by the Phoenicians, the Romans, Portuguese, Spanish and most recently the French.

The warmth and good humor of the people is immense and the insights into the Islamic world and Amazigh spirituality fascinating. Margaret looks at other artists who lived and worked in Morocco such as Delacroix and Matisse, and draws inspiration from any literature she can lay her hands on, to gain a deeper insight into this remarkable place.

More than presentations of found objects, England’s works display an amazing complexity of ideas combined through a playful, creative and intellectual process. Her abilities at lateral thinking and the juxtaposition of select subjects and ideas, stimulate thought processes and delight any viewers who encounter her work – a dynamic combination of observation and intuition.

Traveling through Morocco as the tour host, Margaret will share her ideas and working methods, create site specific ephemeral installations, and facilitate a cultural experience with lots of lively discussion. Her natural exuberance, playful approach and sharp intellect will make this a high energy experience (with some calm moments).