School of the Arts, English and Drama

Postgraduate research

Maria Photiou

Photo of  Maria Photiou

PhD student (2013)

Thesis Title:

Rethinking the History of Cypriot Art: Greek Cypriot Women Artists in Cyprus


Prof Marsha Meskimmon, Dr Mo White


This thesis brings together women artists’ art practices situated in five key periods of Cyprus’ socio-political history: British Colonial Rule, anti-colonial struggle, 1960 Independent, 1974 Invasion and post-1974 Cyprus. Such study has not been done before, and for this, the current thesis aims to provide a critical knowledge of the richness and diversity of Greek Cypriot women art practices that have frequently been marginalised and rarely been written about or researched. As the title suggests, this thesis engages in rethinking the history of Cypriot art by focusing on the art produced by women artists in Cyprus.

By focusing primarily on the work of Greek Cypriot women artists I am interested to explore the conditions within which, through which and against which, women negotiate political processes in Cyprus while making art that is predominantly engaged in specific politicised patterns. The meeting point for the artists is their awareness of being women artists living in a colonised, patriarchal country under Greek Cypriot nationality. While all these artists assumed very different positions in experiencing the several phases of Cyprus’ history they all negotiate in their practice territorial boundaries and specific identity patterns.

Featured publications:

Photiou, M., ‘Who Are We, Where Do we Come From, Where are we Going To? Greek Cypriot Women Artists in Contemporary Cyprus’. Women’s StudiesAn Interdisciplinary Journal, Taylor & Francis Publishers. (forthcoming 2012) 

Photiou, M., Review of ‘Nomadic Narratives, Visual Forces’, in Biography 34.2 (Spring 2011). 

Photiou, M., ‘Representations of Cyprus: Impressions of Gender and Culture during British Rule (1878-1959)’, Available online at

Photiou, M., ‘Loukia Nicolaidou: Artistic Strategies Employed'