12 – 26 October 2024

Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, Sahara, Fes, Chefchaouen, Rabat 

Hollis Chatelain, Working Donkeys, Art Quilt

Travel with textile artist Hollis Chatelain and explore the traditional Amazigh (Berber) crafts of Morocco at a grassroots level where womens 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 root.

Hollis Chatelain 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.


Hollis Chatelain is an internationally recognised and award-winning artist specialising in textile painting. Through her work that addresses challenging social and environmental themes, Hollis reflects 12 years of experience living in West Africa and working with humanitarian organisations.

With an educational background in design and photography, and over 35 years experience as a professional artist, Hollis’ work can be found in public and private collections throughout the world. In addition to creating her art, Hollis holds lectures and workshops in the United States and abroad, instructing students in subjects including colour, drawing, design, dye-painting, and quilting technique.

“My art most often comes to me in my dreams; usually influenced by current events and the many years I spent living in West Africa. This is why I tend to create surreal dreamlike compositions with a photographic quality…I create “textile paintings” because fabric not only gives me a way to do all the things I love – photography, drawing, painting – but it is also very tactile.”

Beginning with dreams, then researching images and following a drawing process to create her designs Hollis transfers her design to fabric using fiber reactive Procion dyes. With a passion for thread, Hollis uses over 200 different colours to add contour, depth, and volume to the image through quilting.

Blue Men, cloth quilt, hand-dye-painted, machine-quilted, 58 x 75 inches


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 composition, colour, materials and trialling techniques for future development. 

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 textiles 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.

CONTACT ACT for more information