1971, Nicosia, Cyprus
Kyriaki Costa was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. She studied Byzantine and Applied Arts in Greece and the United Kingdom. She received her Masters degree in Art from Kingston University, London. She is a member of the Cyprus Visual Artists Association and has participated in many group exhibitions and international art fairs. Since 2010, she has been teaching part-time at the School of Arts and Education Sciences of the European University, Cyprus. Since 2013, she is the Artistic Coordinator of the Non Profit Organization Phaneromenis 70 (www.phaneromenis70.org).
Reimagining the power structure of civic spaces, her work investigates the collective memory by using personal narratives within ideological breakdowns of concrete human senses, folkloric romanticism and conceptions of reality and fiction. Her diagrammatic approach identifies layers of displaced and mutated symbols that create a poetic loop through a complex historical language – she continues to weave materials and symbols through her embroideries - a response to the choreography of traditional belief systems. Her approach in art intermingles between undefined spaces in the environment and human behavior. Her work practice is a conglomeration of contemporary technological practices and traditional methods; as a result, a new blend of manual and machine work is being created, that mixes technology and traditional techniques in its nature. Finally, Costa also actively participates in activist initiatives in Cyprus that focus on environmental issues as well as the commons.
In 2018 she participated at the international project Ar(t)chaeology /Intersections of Archaeology and Photography at NiMac with her project “Head and Hand”. In the same year, she represented Cyprus at the Cyprus Contemporary Art Exhibition organized by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Additionally, her work "Presence in Absence" was included in the Cyprus Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, and "It's Water – Taps and Sources of Nicosia" at the exhibition "Handmade Rocno Delo" in Estonia as well as the exhibition "IAPT PHOTOBOOK: 2018, Photographies and Conflict: Archiving and Consuming Images of Strife”.
In 2017, she participated in the exhibition Terra Mediterranea: In Action; an exhibition of contemporary art, a conference, and a series of parallel actions, curated by Yiannis Toumazis, at the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre. In the same year, she participated in the exhibition "THE VENUS PARADOX - CONTEMPORARY GAZE"; with the work “As the Rock Wears Out, 2017” at the A. G. Leventis Gallery and also at the exhibition “Transcending Time” which was held in Athens and supported by the NEON Organisation for Culture and Development.
In 2016, she had a solo exhibition of her work “Diaspora – I must have swallowed the dust” at SMBA – Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.
In 2015, for the first time she presented her project "Its water: Taps and sources of Nicosia" which was also published into a book and was presented in POINT, a center of contemporary art in Nicosia. Moreover, her work “Eternal time” was presented at the conference “Salamis of Cyprus”.
From 2013 -2014, she participated in the exhibition “Other Indications” at the Nicosia Municipal Arts center, also curated by Yiannis Toumazis and had a solo exhibition at the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia. In 2014 particularly, she participated in the exhibition "Threads" in the Museum for Modern Art Arnhem, Netherlands, and the exhibition "United States of Europe" at Ravenna, Italy.
From 2011 to 2013, she participated in the group exhibition “United States of Europe” (France – Poland – Italy – Belgium – UK – Cyprus – Russia) and in the exhibition “Utopia” (new acquisitions of Nikos Pattichis and Philleleftheros newspaper), as well as in the exhibition “Terra Mediterranea – In Crisis”, a contemporary art programme organized by the Nicosia Municipal Arts center and the Pierides foundation – and was again curated by Yiannis Toumazis. In the same year, she also participated in the exhibition “Envision Cyprus – Memories alive” in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee, under the auspices of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU.
In October 2011, she participated in "The Location of Culture", an exhibition which marked the launch of Walk of Truth (an exhibition in the Netherlands), and featured artists from Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey.
In 2010, she participated in the International Triennial of Tapestry, Poland, and in the “Kypriaka”, a competition for the upgrading of the quality of Cypriot souvenirs, in which two of her proposals were shortlisted amongst the first five. In the same year she had a solo show at the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia with the work “This is my country and it is unexpectedly beautiful”.
In 2009, she presented her work “Presence in Absence” in Diatopos, a center of contemporary art in Nicosia. This work received the first prize PAD International Award in Italy, for the “Mediterranean Between Present and Future” Competition. The work was later on presented at the International Design contest and in the exhibition “Migrations”, curated by Heather Felty.
In 2008, she received a Pancyprian prize at “Yfanseis-Weavings-Dokuma”, a competition organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts, for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
Back in 2006, she participated in the Saint Etienne Biennale exhibition in France, where she received the public’s prize. In the same year, she represented Cyprus at the Cairo Biennale with the piece “Sweet Land”; and the Cyprus delegation received the Best Pavilion Prize.