Passages ~ Morocco: An Art Exhibition by Kelly Borsheim
(all copyrights 2013-2014 reserved by the artist)
A Collection of Eleven Artworks
- (Fez, Morocco)
- 46 x 64 cm (18 x 25 in.)
- Pastel on black Italian-made paper
- © Kelly Borsheim
I wandered the streets in Fez, watching people negotiate in the markets, looking at wares and how the vendors attempted (or not) to sell. But I found myself more curious to wander through some of the passageways. Most were dark tunnels with occasional openings to allow some light in. This pastel drawing on black paper focuses on the shadowy figure. It was a woman who stopped in the bend in the tunnel, a place where the light dropped down on her, as she answered a phone call. I thought it was more interesting to only create her silhouette to contrast with the light.
I feel grateful for a great many things, but mostly my ability, through you, to live my life and explore the world and our humanity through artistic eyes. In 2012, I traveled to Morocco. Alone.
In truth, most of my experiences in Morocco just made me feel isolated and lonesome. It was difficult to have a real conversation with anyone (it seemed only men who wanted to interact; women just smiled shyly or spoke as little as possible to me). Most interactions I had ended with a request for money or sex.
Many of these exchanges were mild and it was easy to disentangle myself. The one on the bus from Essaouira was the worst I experienced. I was unaware at the time, but I had started to come down with the fever and chills that one can catch from eating or drinking something not particularly healthy. I simply thought that I was tired and had fallen into a deep sleep on the bus, leaning against the window. I awoke about an hour later because I was being fondled in two places! The young man in the seat next to me pretended to be asleep while he took his liberties. By the time we reached Marrakesh, he had at least had the audacious manners to invite me to his home for dinner! Hahha. [I declined and found my way back to the hostel as the fever took hold.]
The most charming of these experiences happened in Fez. A good-looking young man with greenish eyes began to follow me around the market streets. He said he would be my guide. I just smiled, shook my head side to side and moved on, exploring the city and trying to get away from tourists. He tried many times to show me the way back to the central part, assuming that I wanted to see what other foreigners had. I did not.
Finally, he said to me, "I would make a good husband for you because I am strong. And I am gentle." How could I not be amused by that? He was also persistent and followed me around the outskirts of town, gently insisting that I was headed the wrong way and that he could show me the tanneries where they color the animal skins. At some point, I had seen enough and turned towards the main part of town again. When we reached the voodoo shop, he said to me, "oh . . . no, I cannot follow you anymore. The police stay in this part of the city. Good day." And I was left thinking, " . . . and he is honest! Perhaps I should reconsider his offer!"
I did meet some kind people, but most were foreigners. The children playing in the streets or walking through the corridors were charming, though, often smiling shyly at me before resuming their games. And I did enjoy the light. In the end, I am happy with my trip. And I would like to present to you the first in the new art collection/exhibition titled, "Passages - Morocco." I hope you enjoy your travels and can also journey with me for a bit longer . . .