LUMINESCENCE: IN OUR NATURE
Humans have always sought to illuminate the natural world. In Luminescence: In Our Nature a bouquet of tall, organically styled sculptures used dichroic optical filters to cast coloured light around their environment day and night, reflecting upon the ancient Greek legacy of scientific advancement through the magnificent forms of our local native flora.
GREEK LOVE: OUTSIDE THE LINES
When societal boundaries are formed, there are always those who fall outside the lines. In this participatory exhibition, queer artist Mayticks collaborated with the Hellenic Museum to explore coded histories and mythologies in ancient Greece. Mayticks' playfully illustrated mural merged contemporary themes with ancient icons to highlight their ongoing resonance in LGBTQ+ communities.
Initially unfilled, the exhibition invited visitors to colour between the lines – literally and figuratively painting a more nuanced and authentic picture of our collective past, and opening an artistic dialogue between visitor, artist and museum. Once complete the mural remained on display for the duration of the exhibition, as a celebration of the beauty in diversity – past, present and personal.
WHO ARE YOU?: ATHENS, AOTEAROA AND THE ART OF MARIAN MAGUIRE
In a stunning selection of lithographs and etchings, New Zealand-based artist Marian Maguire combines British, Māori and ancient Greek cultures to create a visual conversation of colonialism, memory, cultural interaction, history and myth.
Accompanied by an Exhibition Companion with added historical context from Hellenic Museum curators, this collection of works invites viewers to consider how these factors interplay, and how identity is constructed on a personal, cultural and national level.
THE STARS KNOW MY NAME
Power. Status. Beauty. The pursuit of these desirable qualities transcends time and culture, and has coloured much of history. In The Stars Know My Name, works from leading multi-disciplinary artist Darren Sylvester are contrasted against a selection of ancient-inspired bronze helmets from the Hellenic Museum collection.
Though worlds apart, these objects share the same concern for reputation and mortality. Together, this contrasting display illustrates a universal story of human desire for longevity, power and status, in whatever forms they may take.
CYPRIOT POTTERY OF THE BRONZE AND IRON AGES
A collection of 48 well-preserved pieces ranging from simple bowls and jugs to large scale storage and funerary amphora, providing insights into the material culture and lifestyle of ancient Cyprus. The collection, on loan from Peter Mitrakas and Mary Ann Savas, was divided into three separate time periods of Cypriot history including the Bronze Age, Geometric Period and Archaic Period.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, and a strategic crossroads linking the Aegean, Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt. Despite this, Cypriots are noted for their independence and individuality, which is visible in the archaeological record; nowhere more so than in the pottery of the ages succeeding the Neolithic.
THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT
Explore a common thread of Hellenic influence through the works of five Australian artists – Ann DeBono, Rob McLeish, Grace Wood, Stephen Benwell and Ngilan Margaret Dodd.
Viewed in isolation, these works may not evoke Classical influence. But place them together in the heart of the Hellenic Museum and you cannot help but observe their binding thread of Hellenic motifs and principles. From this dance of curatorial vision and artistic intent emerges a dialogue about the ways Greek classicism continues to permeate and evolve in contemporary culture.
Spanish urban art duo PichiAvo were commissioned to create RENEGADES – three outdoor, free-standing portraits, each depicting a woman from ancient Greek history or mythology. PichiAvo are recognised for their skill at creating connections between painting and sculpture in urban settings,
RENEGADES pays homage to women who were, in their own way, renegades. These women broke away from the traditional gender roles of the time and made an indelible mark on history.
AGAINST THE RUINS – PHOTOGRAPHS BY NELLY'S
Upon her arrival to Greece, Nelly's wasted no time and visited the archaeological sites, photographing the monuments and exhibiting her works. Her admiration and romantic approach of the ancient world that led her to create a body of works presented in this exhibition from the Benaki Museum Photographic Archives.
PHOS: A JOURNEY OF LIGHT
Prince Nikolaos has always been mesmerised by big, open spaces filled with natural light. The way the light shifts from moment to moment, altering the beauty of the terrain in the process, is a never-ending inspiration. His desire to capture these perfect plays between the light and its surroundings is what has fueled his passion for photography.
FACES + MASKS
Through his Faces + Masks photographic series, Greek artist Nikos Vavdinoudis photographs the Bell-wearers (Kodonoforoi) of Macedonia, a Dionysian tradition that has survived the ages in rural Northern Greece. Known for their elaborate animalistic costumes and symbolic rituals, Vavdinoudis captures the obscure yet fascinating ancient rituals that take place at the beginning of January and coincide with the Orthodox Christian holiday of the baptism of Christ.
Although the in-person exhibition has now ended, Faces + Masks is still available to view online in our Digital Gallery.
γιαγιά – GRANDMOTHERS
Presented as part of the Multicultural Museums Victoria
Story-tellers, nurturers, educators: grandmothers play a great many roles within the Greek community. And yet, we barely hear a whisper from these important women in mainstream Greek history, literature and art. 'Yiayia' aims to give voice to these women and their stories and emphasise their role in perpetuating cultural.
SIDNEY NOLAN – THE GREEK SERIES
This exhibition was a tribute to one of Australia's most beloved artists on the centenary of his birth, and made possible with the generous support of the Sidney Nolan Trust.
Nolan travelled to the Greek island of Hydra and it was there that he began this series of works.
HAUTE COUTURE IN ANCIENT GREECE:
THE SPECTACULAR COSTUMES OF ARIADNE & HELEN OF TROY
This exhibition brought to life the magnificent costumes worn by Minoans and Mycenaeans of Bronze Age Greece ca 2000 to 1200 BCE. In spite of their value, luxurious design and decoration, Aegean costumes and textiles have been among the least understood - until now.
THE ART OF ADORNMENT
This exhibition was the second collection to be loaned to the Hellenic Museum from the Benaki Museum.
The 90 intricate pieces of jewellery from this 300 year period, arranged geographically and thematically, showcased the artistry involved in jewellery making.
PAINTING WITH LIGHT
This exhibition followed Against the Ruins: Photographs by Nelly's and it was a photographic collection of a contemporary of Nelly's: Nicos Zographos. This photographic installaton primarily showcased photographs of Greek monuments.
A DECADE OF EXHIBITIONS: 2009 – 2017
Siren Song featured Greek vases from antiquity through to an artistic re-interpretation of Odysseus’ journey using contemporary sound and composition.
An exhibition of contemporary jewellery objects which examined the practice of twenty-two artists of Greek descent working in Greece, Germany, UK, USA, Cyprus and Australia.
To mark the ANZAC centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign Lemnos-Gallipoli 1915: Women in War explored the experience of women during this pivotal time in WW1.
This exhibition looked at the role played by cinema and film on identity; including the Greek Cinema circuit that operated in Australia in the 50s and 60s.
Transformation - International Women's Day Exhibition with participating artists: Anne Warren, Chistiana Fanaritis, Helen Sartinas, Nikki Doudoulis, Dora Kitinas, Thalia Andrews and Tina Sideris.
Polixeni Papapetrou’s series, Between Worlds, children are portrayed as animals caught between the worlds of infancy and adulthood and animal and human.
The exhibition examined the controversial events that led to the wave of Greek assisted migration post 1952.
Takis Moraitis’ works focus on the Ionian Islands and Cyclades. His is a distinctive style and colour created a dramatic evocation of these settings.
A selection of work from the collection of A.D. Trendall, an authority on the red-figure vases produced in the Greek colonies during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.
The exhibition detailed a timeline of Greek settlement in Australia from the early 1800s and examined the social and political catalysts that have stimulated migration.
An exploration of model Hellenic ships over the centuries which were deemed milestones in the development of navigation.
In Ancient Greece, music was considered the gift of the Muses, which identified and characterised how one acts, thinks and feels.
An exploration of the legacy and influence of Greece, from antiquity to the modern day, through the private collections of Peter & Mary Mitrakas and Dean Kalymnios.
An exhibition by emerging artists; Nicole Polentas, Elli Ioannou and Christiana Livaditis. Mediums presented included jewellery, photography and fashion.
Athenian Democracy was designed to offer visitors an opportunity to discover the constitution and function of the first democracy in the world.
During 1829 to 1974, 300,000 Greeks migrated and settled in Australia. This exhibition showed the significant contribution made by the community.
The paintings in this exhibition represented the output of 26 leading Greek artists recognised both in their country, and in the international art scene.