Today met with Marouane Aouinat the painter after he invited me to his home in an old part of the souk. Marouane graduated a year ago from university of Tetouan.
He showed me his journal and some of the projects he had been doing over the last 12 months. He has had 10 projects in one year. His English is limited as is my Moroccan Arabic (also called Darija) the Moroccan language but we communicated as best as we could. He showed me his 38 certificates of art education at his age of 28 and I noted the difference having 2 certificates for HND in Graphic design and later in life my fine art degree. We spread all his out on the table like a fan and I thought it would be good to show them with mine in the future.
It will be difficult for Marouane to visit UK due to visa and passport issues and it is something I will have to look into if I hope to organise cross artist exchanges with my member group Neo:artists and as a studio holder at Neo:artists I have the opportunity to invite Moroccan artists for residencies and exhibit work in our Bolton gallery. This would expand my curatorial experience organising a group show to include these Moroccan artists and also a possibility for an exchange collaboration with Le Cube based in Rabat.
I had a lovely meal with the family who had been fasting all day and even though they could not speak English they were wonderful and welcoming. I said my goodbyes and they said I was part of the family now.