Alexander, Daphne Beak, 1935-2013
Inscribed on lower left recto: Larnaca Salt Lake - Cyprus
The print portrays one of the most known sites of Larnaca district, the salt lake. The mountain of the Holy Cross cuts across the almost blue-white sky defining the area. Larnaca was known as Salines (salt lakes) since the Frankish period. It was the major port for the export of salt through the Venetian, Ottoman and British eras. In the picture, salt is gathered under tenuous conditions of extreme heat which dries up the water in the lake and exposes the salt. Shades of yellow and sparse vegetation create a feeling of dryness, accentuated by the orderly vertical and horizontal lines of white created by the mounts of salt. The impression of exposure to merciless sunlight and the lack of any visible shelter create a feeling of strong thirst. The artist captures the dying legacy of salt extraction in Larnaca. In 1986, the Government of Cyprus put an end to the process. The appearance of a rationalized spatial order and a pattern of systematized work are rather typical of the industrial west as currently manifested in the picture. It marks a stark contrast to the disorderly state of affairs that the European observer might have expected of the Levant. In this respect, this feature echoes core elements in the legitimizing ideology of British colonialism in Cyprus. The British served to organize production processes in Cyprus as part of their wider modernizing impact on the island.
31 x 43 cm
Signed in lower right, recto: Dapne Beak Alexander - 1980
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