Saturday, 19 September 2009

Egyptian Souks

I have recently been lucky enough to go to Egypt where I was able to engage in an entirely different culture. I found the country as a whole very exciting; however it was in the Souks (Egyptian markets) where I realised how many treasures the country held. It was like going to an art/textile/interior design exhibition just by walking around the stalls because there was such a vast collection of artefacts and works of art. The atmosphere and the light displays and the bizarre arrangement of buildings and outdoor shops all combined made the market a really awe inspiring place to be. It was nothing like anywhere I have been before; I imagine Morocco to be very similar, and this is somewhere I have always wanted to go.

The market inspired me as it made me think about how different their culture is from our own and how this market that the Egyptian locals see every day may seem so mundane to them, yet looks like such an art piece to somebody like me. It made me think about interior design; especially that of restaurants and bars because I loved the fact that in the market areas in Egypt all the bars and restaurants are mainly outdoors and filled with cushions on the floor for people to sit on. 

The textiles and the tilings made me think about our work in design theory and I now know how ornate and difficult to create some of the shapes and patterns really were. 

I was really inspired by the light displays as well, which, I figured, if placed in different circumstances could look really tacky, however, in the markets looked really beautiful and played such a major part in creating an atmosphere. This made me think about how important colour and lighting can be in creating an environment and I thought that I might try and use this more in my work, especially when taking photographs to try and portray the ambience of the setting more precisely.

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