MOROCCO TEXTILES TOUR
4 – 18 May 2024
Travel with artist Sue Benner and explore the traditional Amazigh (Berber) crafts of Morocco at a grassroots level where womens cooperative ventures present 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. We see some exquisite embroidery techniques, learn to tie knots to make rugs and explore some eco-dyeing using Pomegranate skins or Rose Madder root.
Sue Benner will share her skills and experience in Art Quilt making through simple activities exploring textile collage, fused quilt construction and artistic inspiration.
Take your work to new places with SUE BENNER!
Soak up Moroccan culture, markets, gardens, and landscapes to interpret in small travel-size collages. Sue translates abstract pattern, flowers, and landscapes into textile compositions inspired by the world around her. As we travel we will gather “found” fabrics and inspiration to incorporate into collages and develop compositions that combine mixed materials to discover their relationships.
We will enjoy photographing (Sue uses an iPhone 13 at the present) while touring with the aim of developing composition skills and inspiration photos for textile work. We will keep a sketchbook for notes, visual ideas on the tour and painted sketches if time permits.
Create a series of small, collaged works (8” x 8”) in fabric, stitch, paper, and found objects for later framing, enhancing as textile art, or to be assembled into an artist’s book. Of course, these small works and their supporting experiences and photographs can serve as sketch for a larger work after the tour.
Sue will happily consult on how various ideas can be developed with her working methods, including a PowerPoint of her processes.
Or, you can sit back and just soak! Any level of participation is yours to choose.
Workshop includes a PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, and handout. Some materials will be provided and a detailed list of suggested materials and equipment to bring will be provided on booking.
ABOUT Sue Benner
Born into a creative, Do-It-Yourself Wisconsin family, Sue Benner grew up with a love of nature and the desire to make things with her hands. Her mother taught her to sew while her father taught her about art, drawing, and painting.
While earning her undergraduate degree in molecular biology and master’s in biomedical illustration, Sue Benner began to combine her study of science, the drive to make art, and her skills in sewing to make expressive works with textiles. A studio artist since 1980, she has exhibited her work throughout the United States around the world including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and three US Embassies.
Her textile constructions and quilts are in many private, corporate, and institutional collections including the International Quilt Museum, National Quilt Museum, BNSF Railway Collection, Golden State Warriors Chase Center Collection, and Green Bay Packers Collection.
Benner is also an educator, lecturing and teaching workshops internationally in the areas of surface design, quilted textile collage, and artistic inspiration.
Benner lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Craig Jett, and works in her backyard custom-built studio. She is a devoted walker, exploring and photographing nearby White Rock Lake Park in its many moods. She is the author of Walking Near Water: An Artist’s View of White Rock Lake, featuring 150 of her photographs and essays by ten area experts about the lake wildlife, habitat, and the value of urban greenspace.
MORE ABOUT THE TOUR
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 colour, pattern, materials and trialling techniques for future development as we work on our ‘Textile Art’ project.
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.