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Artist in Conversation: Meet Loretta Lizzio

Loretta Lizzio is a Gold Coast-based studio and street artist whose work adorns walls and galleries in the UK, France, Canada and all across Australia. She has worked across publishing, photography and advertising industries while continuing to grow as a mural artist.

Loretta is the first female artist commissioned to take part in the Hellenic Museum’s Dialogue Series that reimagines antiquity and features women at the forefront of the narrative. Her upcoming commission joins a stellar cohort of works including Bill Henson’s photographic series, Sam Jinks’ hyperrealist sculpture of the goddess Iris, and Renegades by Spanish street artists PichiAvo.

Loretta has been creating and making art ever since she can remember, but after a life-changing accident and adjusting to motherhood, she has learnt to draw on her experiences, both good as bad, as inspiration for her artistic pursuits. Using pen, pencil and oils on a variety of surfaces, her ethereal works capture the viewer’s imagination with their intimate nature. You can’t help but blissfully lose yourself in the beauty, intimacy, passion and colours of her detailed creations.

Loretta is particularly inspired by Greek mythology and the female figure, and we are thrilled to have her signature style on display at the Hellenic Museum. We spoke to Loretta ahead of her arrival at the Museum to begin work on her 3-part mural commission, telling the stories of lesser-known women who contributed to history and myth. The three woman are:

  • Hydna of Scione (diver, Battle of Salamis)

  • Anyte of Tegea (poet, ca. 3rd century BCE)

  • Agnodike of Athens (physician, ca. 300 BCE)

Which Greek myths inspire your work?

In my 20s, I was very drawn to Greek mythology because of how powerful the imagery and statues that accompanied these stories were. I love the flow and depth of colour and lighting, the exaggerated poses, delicate hands and longing looks. This is still something I strive to create in my own art. Some of my favorite stories, artworks and statues are of Aphrodite, Poseidon, Kerberos and Medusa.

Could you briefly describe your process of working with us and how you decided upon the final designs?

I have been in contact with the Hellenic Museum’s Curation team for some time and Head Curator Sarah Craig and Assistant Curator Sara Prica have been amazing to collaborate with. We have shared many video meetings and emails which really helped me to come up with my designs to tell the stories of the ancient Greek women. Working on the designs for the Museum has been a little more challenging than others because I wanted to include artefacts currently showing in the Museum as well as ensuring the historical accuracy of all elements. I have made costumes, wax tablets, and spent many hours in post production working in the separate elements from the museum or that I have researched. It has been fun getting crafty and creating these things before photographing, and drawing up my final design. I find the whole process very exciting and so much fun. I love working with others to create something special.

What goes into your concept work when creating artwork in terms of choosing themes, references, and the like? Are there particular themes you pursue?

I love romantic themes and imagery. I am particularly drawn to strong female figures. I try to create artwork that is sensual, mysterious, energy giving, calming and reflective. All of these things at once if possible. I am still very much developing my style and concepts, though I feel I am on the right path and can already see future works in my mind and how I can improve. My work is usually very intuitive. I plan a shoot with a subject before choosing a shot I connect with, then I start painting. Sometimes I paint over it, other times it will be a painting I work on for years before finalising. I am getting better at pre-planning, though I find I am more inspired and generally happier with a piece when things develop naturally.

Loretta begins work on the Hellenic Museum forecourt on Thursday 2 December. In true street art style, the Hellenic Museum will celebrate the launch of Loretta’s artwork at BLOCK PARTY the following Sunday. Loretta will finish her artwork during the festival so visitors can watch the murals of Hydna, Anyte and Agnodike come to life before their eyes.

Secure your free ticket here.

Hear Loretta in conversation with our Head of Curation this Sunday at her Artist Talk. Book your ticket now.


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