Salt of the Earth
Salt of the Earth is an installation articulating notions of duality. It revolves around the dualities of mankind’s agency and existence, survival and destruction. The work is an allusion to the overlapping polarities linked to mankind’s doing. It makes references to aspects associated with local ecology and natural identity, zooming into aspects rooted in current topics such as identity, appropriation, progress and exploitation.
Salt is one of the main properties related to subsistence. It plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and is used for various important aspects. The significance of salt is represented through various traditions and customs. Cultural concepts connote salt with purity, wealth, taste and preservation. However, the duality of salt is also reflected by its association with contamination, corrosion, death, and its propensity to dry plants and ruin drinking water. It is also associated with bad thoughts and chastisement.
The presence of this mineral in the local islands is intimately related to its geological make-up and position, given these islands are surrounded by the sea. Coastal sea salt-making from saltpans is also closely connected to this phenomenon and also links it to the Mediterranean legacy. This legacy is still preserved and extant in the northern region of Gozo. For centuries the production of coastline salt-making took its form in the collection and scraping of salt crystals. This local tradition also reflects the island’s indigenous traditional heritage, cultural homogeneity and sense of preservation.