Mirka Mora is one of Melbourne’s best-loved artists and most colourful personalities. This special exhibition, drawn from the treasure trove that is her home studio spans her entire practice, from her first surviving painting through her most recently completed works and includes paintings, drawings, soft sculptures, tapestries, sketchbooks and ceramics.
Mirka and her husband Georges arrived in Melbourne from Paris in 1951 and brought with them a taste of la vie bohème. Their studio residence in Collins Street became a hub for Melbourne’s bohemian set and they became friends with many now famous Australian artists such as Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Fred Williams, as well as art patrons John and Sunday Reed.
Mirka observed that to know the Reeds was to sharpen your sensitivity for they could read a painting like a musician can read music. To her they were more than friends because they could read my soul.
A talented and dedicated artist, whose career spans over sixty years, for Mirka, art and life are inseparable. She has long captivated audiences with instantly recognisable works created in a remarkable range of materials and styles, all created in Mirka’s sensuous, naïve style and marked by her idiosyncratic iconography of recurring motifs, from children, dogs and birds to angels, devils and snakes.
The rarely seen works in this exhibition lead us through Mirka’s first years in Melbourne living at 9 Collins Street, family beach holidays at Aspendale, her love of St Kilda, the joys and demands of relationships and motherhood, and the pain of separation and loss.
Mirka generously allowed Heide curators the privilege of sifting through her home and private sanctuary to select pieces of her work that she lives with and cherishes.
By opening her home and allowing our curators access to her most treasured creations, Mirka has bestowed upon this exhibition the same sensation of stepping through the looking glass that one feels when setting foot through her front door.
Visiting this extraordinary domain is a heady experience,” says Jason Smith, Heide director and CEO. “You enter through her decoratively painted sliding glass door and pass from bright daylight into mysterious shadow and a magical realm where anything and everything is possible.”
From the Home of Mirka Mora
Heide II – Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen
Exhibition continues to 9 November 2014
For more information, visit: www.heide.com.au for details.
Image: Mirka Mora in her home-studio, 2013 – photo by Fred Kroh