• Who are we, Where do we come from, Where are we going to? Writing Greek Cypriot Women's Art Histories in Contemporary Cyprus

      Photiou, Maria; University of Derby (Bloomsbury, 2021-03-25)
      This chapter engages with material so far insufficiently examined in art history: the work of Greek Cypriot women artists. The work of these women artists has received little attention and has frequently been marginalised from official art histories. This chapter develops a framework to explain some of the processes and conditions that affected Greek Cypriot women artists’ lives and careers. It is based on research I carried out for my doctoral thesis at Loughborough University entitled Rethinking the History of Cypriot Art: Greek Cypriot Women Artists in Cyprus. In this chapter I begin with reviewing perspectives on writing Greek Cypriot women artists’ histories. I will address the socio-political conditions from which Greek Cypriot artists emerged and their problematic position, which has been associated with patriarchy and nationalism. This matter is explored by a number of contemporary Greek Cypriot feminists: patriarchal society and national politics left no space for women in Cyprus to struggle for women’s rights, to contest patriarchy or to gain public visibility.2Significant to my discussion is how the socio-political conditions affected Greek Cypriot women artists’ lives and careers. Within this context I will use interview material to refine our understanding of how women artists responded to these socio-political conditions. The works of Loukia Nicolaidou At the Fields (c.1933) and Rhea Bailey Memories of the Yard (1979) will be analysed – their work underlines discourses related to gender relations and socio-political conditions in contemporary Cyprus.