Gladys Peto, Athina Tarsouli: “Details on Cyprus”
This paper examines the works that resulted from the sojourn of these two important visitors in Cyprus, as well as how the era in which they traveled influenced their viewpoint and perception of the island. What links the two women together is art, which they both studied and practiced and which can be seen in the books they wrote on Cyprus and, of course, the "details" they observed and recorded which, in the end, are anything but details, as is the case in the poem by Seferis, to which the second part of my title refers.
Gladys Peto, a British writer, illustrator, fashion and set designer, and painter of art posters, came to Cyprus in the mid-1920s, accompanying her husband who was in the colonial administration. She was a woman of the roaring twenties and in her brief work on Cyprus, she recorded everything she saw on this changing island with wit, irony, and self-deprecating humor.
The painter and writer Athina Tarsouli visited Cyprus in the 1950s, a very critical decade in the island's recent history. The ambience of the time imbues her work and writing style. Her work is significant for the elements of oral tradition she preserves; the emphasis she places on folk art with extensive references and drawings; and her paintings of monuments and buildings.