One of the great things about London is, no matter how long you live here, there is also something new to discover.
No 226 Cromwell Road was built as part of the 19th century development of Earls Court as the Edwardes Estate. Known as the Tower House, No 226 was built by builder Thomas Huggett in 1872. Now it is at the inhospitable junction of two of the busiest roads in London, Cromwell Road (the A4 west) and Earls Court Road (the A332 south).
Surprisingly, here is The Mosaic Rooms, the London base of the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s and now celebrating its tenth year of showcasing contemporary culture from the Arab World and beyond to London audiences. The current exhibition over two floors, curated by Morad Montazami, celebrates the achievements of Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School.
Melehi (born 1936) was a man of many talents – jazz drummer, artist, photographer and graphic, mural and urban designer, twisting traditional vernacular designs into a new colourful, curving contemporary style and, from 1964 to 1974 was influential in enabling the Casablanca Art School to combine western and traditional art into a new distinct style.
Between 1985 and 1992 he worked at the Ministry of Culture, contributing to the development of art projects and cultural institutes in Morocco at a time when murals were considered an essential part of architectural design and, from 1999 to 2002, he was a cultural consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This is the first major exhibition of his work in the UK, and is overdue.