Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech

When I first visited Morocco circa 1970, I was totally overwhelmed by the blasts of colour from the landscape, the birds, the flowers, the buildings, the fabrics and the artifacts. Returning to Marrakech with my daughter Molly earlier this month, I was not disappointed.

For the first time, we saw the Jardin Majorelle- an unbelievable colour experience. This exotic, imaginative garden- which surrounds a wonderful brilliant blue art deco house- was developed by a French painter, Jacques Majorelle. He acquired the land and began landscaping it in 1924 and in 1947 he opened it to the public, having collected vegetation from five continents. Yves Saint Laurent- who said he found the garden a source of inspiration and often dreamed of its colours- later acquired and restored the property with Pierre Berge.

Walking round the garden is like seeing one fantastic painting after another- everything is thought out, all the colour combinations are meaningful- complimentary colours: purple plants in yellow flower pots, orange flower pots adjacent to blue walls. I am sure Matisse would have revelled in it- I certainly did. It has been hard to limit the images on this site.

Saskia Sutton

For the last month I seem to have been constantly travelling without time to concentrate on this blog so that I now have a lot of catching-up to do. I will start chronologically:

In July, I published a post about the artist Philip Sutton and his wife Heather. Shortly after this I visited their daughter, producer Saskia Sutton. This was a delight in many ways: having known Saskia since she was very little, I had last seen her when she was about 13. As a child she showed great visual sensitivity so it was wonderful to see how this artistry had blossomed, as expressed in her house that gave one constant exciting colour experiences- she is not afraid of colour and the many paintings by her father glow beautifully against the vivid paintwork of the walls. Strangely, working with directors and producers I have often found them to be non-visual. This Saskia is certainly not.

Below are some images of her mouth-watering house concluding with a couple of an ancient North American Western Red Cedar in a nearby park; as Saskia pointed out, the low-lying branches where children had sat were highly polished.