Recent works of Fez and Morocco by Noel Bensted opens Sunday, May 15, 6:30 PM ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha
This selection of drawings, paintings, and prints documents his relationship with Morocco and in particular Fes over the last four years. Noel always works from life and often on the spot. His images are of modern people, yet in a classic style in this elegant and private city.
Bensted arrived in Fez in December of 2012 seeking light and calm, away from the gloom of London, and was enchanted.
Here was a city and way of life that had echoes stretching back to antiquity through the Arab Golden ages, yet still continuing, notwithstanding the "Ville Nouvelle" and modern, instant communication. Daily patterns are seen that would have been familiar a thousand years ago.
The exhibition continues daily 4-6 PM through March 26
For Bensted, an incurable romantic and a lover of southern light and the great European masters of the 17th century, every street corner had a light source reminiscent of a Caravaggio, an old man resembling a Rembrandt portrait, children looking like the paintings of Murillo, and fabrics and draperies out of Ancient Rome.
The courtesy, manners, and welcome was given in the Fes Medina were unlike anything he had experienced before. Whilst drawing and painting in the Medina people often went out of their way to make him comfortable and welcome. The wonderful sharp light, striking faces, and bleached colours of the ancient city daily enrapture him.