Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fes Festival Fringe

During the Fes Festival a number of fringe events have been held in the Fes Medina, adding to the lively and creative atmosphere. These include a singing workshop and street performance with children from the Fez Medina Children's Library, and an exhibition by a locally based UK artist, Noel Bensted.
Singing Workshop

On Sunday afternoon, a group of 20 Australian singers, led by renowned choir master Stuart Davis, did a workshop with a group of children who regularly attend the Fes Medina Children's Library.

Despite having no spoken language in common, the two groups bonded over a love of music. The 17 children, ranging in age from 7 - 14, learned three songs in a room provided by the Medina Social Club. They then did an impromptu street performance in front of the Medina Children's Library with the Australian travellers - much to the enjoyment of the local shopkeepers and passersby, as well as the singers.

Stuart Davis conducts three choirs in Sydney, and is a musician in the band Big Merino. "What a joy to find a group of open, responsive, unselfconscious, happy children waiting to sing with us on our visit to Fez," he said. "We made the effort to learn a few words in Arabic to connect, but needn’t have worried - the kids were so quick to pick up everything and it seemed that, as always, the music itself is the universal language. It was a real highlight for everyone in our group."

For further information about the Fez Medina Children's Library, CLICK HERE.

Painting Exhibition 

This week, Fez-based painter Noel Bensted is holding an open house to show his latest works. Many were produced during a recent creative frenzy of 22 days of painting, and feature Moroccan portraits and landscapes.

The classical figurative painter, originally from the UK, finds abundant inspiration in the Fez Medina. "I love the beauty of the cast light here...Everywhere I look is like a Rembrandt or Caravaggio painting. But it's not fake - it's real," he said.

Paintings range from €150 - €800, and drawings from €60 - €200.

For more information: CLICK HERE. 
Noel Bensted can be contacted on +212 (0) 6 88 72 11 23.

Review and photographs: Suzanna Clarke


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