Monday, 18 January 2010

Majorelle Gardens Marrakesh

First the facts.

The artist Jacques Majorelle came to live in Marrakesh and opened his beautiful gardens to the public in 1947. In 1980 Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé purchased the garden and restored it.

Then the feelings.

Even on a chilly January day, the gardens are stunning. I was reminded of a particular time a few years ago when I was browsing through the paintings at The Tate in St Ives. I'd never really "got" modern art before, but that day - something maybe to do with the light and the sea - I suddenly felt a shift in my comprehension. A hitherto hidden door swung open, and I looked at the pictures with new understanding and excitement. That’s how I felt a few days ago in the Majorelle. I’d never really “got” cacti before either. Previously, when I looked at them, I saw deserts and cowboys and small dusty things sitting in plastic pots on peoples’ windowsills! But the Majorelle presented these plants in a totally fresh way. They were magnificent. Cacti as sculptures and survivors, prickly, devastating and dashing imposters. I loved the colours, the textures, and the contrast with the bright hues and straight lines of the buildings.

Another door swung open. Revelation!

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