Zelliges “Tableaux”

ZELLIGES “TABLEAUX”:

The images of Morocco have become so familiar to us that they have almost replaced those of coconut palms in sunny dreams. So, today, everyone knows zelliges, mosaics of small terracotta tiles. We have helped to make them known, but most often set in just one of our many colours, so in a form less associated with Moroccan style, as variations of the same shade deserve to be exhibited. The demonstration of their wonderful quality of adaptation is already done, sometimes modern, sometimes rustic, sometimes sober, sometimes joyful …
However, I always thought that by this choice, we used only a small part of the incredible skill of a craft so miraculously preserved in Morocco. I did not want to export these mosaics with geometric patterns so characteristic of the Arabic style. On the other hand I have always admired the floral developments of the same technique in iran, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. But I discovered them in books, and these images remained for me a dream very distant and inaccessible …
But, one day in India, I visited a mausoleum abandoned by all and in very bad condition that dazzled me. It is on the edge of the same river as the Taj Mahal, which is certainly one of the most visited monuments in the world, but nobody seems to be interested in the small building in ruins close by. And yet, in spite of its dilapidation, it bursts with joyful candor. It is completely lined with stylized representations of plants, each housed in a graceful niche.
And this exquisite composition is made … I want to say in zelliges although the Arabic word is inappropriate in this place. This is the same technique brought to India during the reigns of the Mughals and forgotten since. This gradeful monument immediately sent me back to work on the side of my dreams, and the Moroccan craftsmen followed me. First, it will be directly inspired by the Mughal mausoleum, a series of niches to compose in our 48 colours of zelliges. A door has opened to so many possibilities and I do not intend to close it anytime soon. But in crafting everything goes slowly. Patience.