Joel Daniel Phillips - Ourika Valley, Morocco (first edition)
Silkscreen print, edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist, unframed
Destination: Ourika Valley, Morocco
Date: 8 - 15 June, 2019
approx. 27.5"h x 19.75"w, 70cm x 50cm
“One of the biggest reasons I chose Morocco for my trip was because the country was a closed book to me, and I wanted to experience an entirely new place without expectations coloring it. I spent much of my time on the road, driving from Marrakech to the actual Sahara desert to see the magical Erg Chigaga dunes. The sheer size and terrifying power of the landscape was one of the things that stuck with me the most. The sense of my own smallness and fragility in the face of endless sand and rock was breathtaking.
One night we stayed with a group of Beduin brothers in their campsite on the edge of the dunes. The campsite was located outside of a town called M'Hamid El Ghizlane, which is the literal end of the road before the expanse of the desert. The next day the we took a jeep 40 kilometers into the actual dunes and spent an incredible afternoon and evening under an endless expanse of sky and sand before camping under the stars. M'hamid was historically a stop on the caravan route from Timbuktu to Marrakech, and the physical and cultural ways that the Beduin people have been living in that space for centuries was nothing short of inspiring.
The drawing I made is of a landscape, something I don't do particularly often. I was deeply impacted by the endless sweep of dunes, and I wanted to try and capture the breathtakingly impossible nature of that space. The almost constant wind creating infinite organic patterns in the sand, sculpting and re-sculpting forms into the ever-shifting, mountainous dunes. I think more than anything I was inspired by the seamless way that Moroccans have been living in such a difficult landscape for centuries."
-Joel Daniel Phillips