Air and Mountain

Air and Mountain, 2018

Eco-print and relief on Jebala mendil and wool


 

Though we all understand the meaning of home, one's personal experience of home can differ significantly from another’s. Some may have an idea of home that is constantly shifting while others feel a strong tie to their roots. During a residency in Tetouan, Morocco, I found this contrast between the Swifts that would fly in huge numbers above the city every morning and evening, and the Jebala women who would commute to the city each day to sell their produce. Swifts are aerial birds that spend about ten months of the year on their wings. Because of this lifestyle, they can grab on to trees and buildings, but rarely land on solid ground. Talking to a Moroccan friend about these birds he said "It's like they're always home because they live in the air.” Unlike the swifts, the women I met at the Jebala market hold on firmly to where they are from. They wear traditional hats and mendil, a cloth wrapped around their waists with stripes of varying widths and colors that often reveal their home village and marital status. The word Jebala, meaning “mountain,” is assigned to them because they travel down the mountains to sell their goods, strapped to their backs, then back up the mountain to repeat this the next day. These works were created during my brief time spent in Morocco collaborating with and befriending the Jebala women.