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Outside the metropolis of Dubai traditional fishing customs are still visible. Here fishing vessels are being repaired just south of Jumeira Beach. Throughout the entire Gulf region, the eastern Mediterranean and as far east as the west coast of India, I have been fascinated by the design of merchant and fishing vessels which locals have built over generations. When the Portuguese arrived here after sailing around the southern tip of Africa, their subjugation of locals was very short lived. Astounded by the agility with which these vessels out-maneuvered their cumbersome ships, they were forced to relinquish their hold over these distant colonies and finally driven south to Zanzibar and Mozambique from where they gradually disappeared. Across the Arabian sea in India, similar such vessels are still in use today, fishing in warm sub tropical waters that are abound with pelagic species such as blue fin tuna and sailfish. In this painting the dazzling white sand of the region forms a lively foreground with a thin skyline emphasized by the boat yard. The thin azure waterline and unusual clouds framing the boat yard compliments an active foreground in simple colors resolved with Prussian blue and cadmium.
November 21st, 2008
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