Friday, March 17, 2017

Equid Opening - a Great Success

Thursday night's opening of the works by Australian artist Natalie Scholtz was held at the American Language Center Riad at Batha in Fez

The exhibition opening was well attended by a wide cross section of visitors and locals. Amongst them His Excellency François-Xavier Tilliette, the French Consul General, the highly respected Caida of Batha, Mme Ilham, Police Colonel Abdullah, Dr Gigi Kay from the American Fondouk and M. El Cohen chef des scouts de Fez.

Dr Gigi Kay (American Fondouk) chats with François-Xavier Tilliette and Caida Mme Ilham

Natalie Scholtz is a visual artist from Western Australia. As a drawer and painter Scholtz depicts the gesture and emotion of objects in her immediate environment. Scholtz's works range between bold and colourful representation of form, to subtle suggestions of shape through sketchy line.

Natalie Scholtz was thrilled by the exhibition reception

Special mention should be made of Natalie's artist residency at the American Fondouk, the free animal hospital in Fez, which was made possible due to the generous sponsorship of the American Fondouk, ALIF, and the American Language Centre in Fez. The Fondouk also contributed a unique publicity event for the opening - stationing donkeys and mules at various points of the Medina with signs advertising the exhibition - a nice touch!

It pays to advertise!

From the last week of January through February 2017 Natalie was given the opportunity to paint, draw and document the work, ethics, and equids of the American Fondouk and broader Fez community. The full-time work that goes on behind the closed doors of the Fondouk, is one of restoration and the nurturing of life. Scholtz explores the physicality of the working horses, mules and donkeys. The angular and sometimes fragmented character of the working animals from Fez tells a story of livelihood, community and culture. Scholtz enjoyed making aggressive charcoal lines that follow the strong skeletal shapes of mules and playing with sandstone colours found in both the coat of a horse and walls of the Medina.

The work on display in the exhibition was as varied as it was excellent. Depicting horses, donkeys and mules in postures of work and relaxation, the works on paper in water colour and acrylic paint showed their angular forms, expressions and personalities. Some of the works were more traditional in their use of colour and style, while in others a multitude of colours had been used, giving a more impressionistic feel. One of the paintings had mules and donkeys amid a jumble of traditional buildings, and gave a sense of the organised chaos of Medina life.

The Study of the Equid Exhibition continues at the ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fez Medina, daily (4-6pm) through until March 26th. It is highly recommended.


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