GREEK LOVE: OUTSIDE THE LINES
Past Exhibition | 10 June—23 October 2023
When societal boundaries are formed, there are always those who fall outside the lines.
Queer communities have been marginalised and oppressed by a history of discrimination and a culture that has ignored or disregarded their experiences. Today, after centuries on the sidelines, modern LGBTQ+ communities are approaching myths and histories with a unique lens, challenging dominant narratives and dismantling the notion that there is, or ever was, a single, normative way of being.
In Greek Love: Outside the Lines, Mayticks, a queer Canberran artist inspired by the Greco-Roman past, has collaborated with the Hellenic Museum and LGBTQ+ historians to explore these coded histories and mythologies. Through a bold and playfully illustrated mural, Mayticks merges contemporary themes with ancient icons to highlight their ongoing resonance in LGBTQ+ communities.
Through sensual scenes – depicting the Galli, female-presenting Roman priests; the divine deities Cybele, Hera, Diana, as well as the Virgin Mary, who embody heavenly sexuality; the hedonistic pursuits of the Roman Emperor/Empress Elagabalus; renowned poetess Sappho of Lesvos; and the Iliadic heroes Achilles and Patroclus – Mayticks’ illustration breathes new life into ancient forms of queerness often buried and forgotten.
Initially unfilled, this participatory exhibition invited visitors to colour between the lines – literally and figuratively painting a more nuanced and authentic picture of our collective past, and creating an artistic collaboration between visitor, artist and institution.
Once complete, the artwork remained on display for the duration of the exhibition, serving as a community celebration of the beauty in diversity – past, present and personal.
Greek Love: Outside the Lines was exhibited in the Hellenic Museum Contemporary Art Space from 10 June — 23 October 2023.
The Participatory Museum
Community engagement and collaboration exist at the heart of Greek Love. As LGBTQ+ histories, lives, identities and issues continue to be largely absent in museums internationally, the Hellenic Museum is committed to combatting this by using the method of the Participatory Museum, creating opportunities for co-creation and power-sharing between institution and visitor.
This project has been supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants