My new understanding of material culture and values (field reflection 2)

After attending the Morocco field trip there are many new understandings I have now learnt, something that stood out to me being the only male in my group was the power I had in comparison. In some cases this felt empowering and a bit of an ego boost, but in many ways felt quite disrespectful to the young woman I was with. They seemed to just come across as a piece of meat, men were overly flirting with them and in some cases offering money and handing out sexual gestures. This tended to happen more so in the rural areas of the city, I found that in some of these areas at night, it became quite eerie and a little dodgy and uncomfortable.

Many Moroccans were extremely pushy when it came to approaching to purchase items and any little sign of interest became a huge push to buy. I found myself being quite a high skilled barterer if I may say so myself. I found starting prices pretty low and walking away when they push too far, to draw them back in. This was an experience culturally in itself, the fact there’s no set prices in the Souk’s and just how different their values are was fascinating to me.

The difference between their rural streets and luxuriously decorated buildings such as the mosques, was another fascinating factor. How ones surroundings can look so cheap and basic and then have buildings within looking quite the opposite just was mind blowing to me but I guess this is how they sort the importance levels of their values. There was some stunning patterns and symbols embedded on the buildings and these were some of the first influences I had in considering the making of my collages in retaliation to my stay.

I decided to work in a collaged format in my field work as I wanted to keep pushing and developing avenues to tie in to my subject developments. I felt doing this could also possibly open new doors and ideas in the final stages of my subject collages leading to exhibition period. The main things i’d say I’ve been influenced by were the colours, patterns and lighting. I really tried to incorporate these aspects in my work through multiple layered lines and with a range of materials and colours which enphasised on the culture of Morocco. The sun was beautiful and it seemed in every direction it was beaming off some form of object. This gave interesting layers in itself and was the instrument as such into sparking ways I could express dimension and angles within my collages. Watercolour gave a calming edge and blended well to give an interesting rural edge in relation to the dirtier side the the city. And finally, as with subject I kept to using imagery within the collages also, I feel that this is a way for me to bring the pieces together as a collection and contrast interestingly with the drawn and textural elements.

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