|Me in the Court of the Lions in 1987|
Seeing Moorish architecture first hand changed my life. The breathtaking order in which spaces and surfaces are treated is some of the most appealing ornamentation I have ever seen. Nature and math are blended in to designs in stucco relief, wood marquetry, tile zelliges, and pebble mosaic. The last two art forms became a key part of my life's work from then on.
Across the Straight of Gibraltar from Spain lies Morocco, a land I have always wanted to visit. I found in my research that Morocco was the first sovereignty to recognize the United States of America as an independent country from the British. There are similarities in the style of some architecture between Spain and Morocco but due to vernacular, there are distinctions that I want to observe.
After a week in Madrid I will fly to Fez, where I am meeting a couple of friends I met in Rome at a wild New Years party I threw in my lovely sublet there. And thus will begin my Moroccan adventure. I have no set plan beyond Fez, just a desire to return to Andalusia in Spain in early February to visit Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Ronda, Cordoba, and Granada before returning to Madrid. I will be writing essays on various subjects and gardens along the way to post here with photo galleries.
The photo of me is in the Patio de los Leones, the Court of the Lions, in the Alhambra in Granada. I was 28 years old and still tucked my shirt in like my Mother always told me to do.
I plan on self publishing a book on what I see this winter to accompany a lecture I will be giving at the San Diego Horticulture Society and Los Angeles Horticulture Society in Riverside in April of 2011.
Nos vemos, Jeffrey