The most expansive survey of work by the late Mirka Mora (1928–2018) ever shown, MIRKA will offer an intimate, previously unseen view into her rich and fascinating personal history. With the original 2020 opening pushed back due to Covid-19 restrictions, the museum will re-emerge to illuminate the incredible life and work of an artist whose seminal influence on Australia’s art and culture is unrivalled.
Opening on Valentine’s Day, the Jewish Museum of Australia will transform into an immersive ‘Mirka-world’ that reflects the artist’s trademark mischievousness and her big-hearted, romantic, bohemian spirit.
The exhibition will share Mirka’s powerful story in vivid detail, as told through her many letters, sketchbooks and diaries, and through recorded interviews from the Jewish Holocaust Centre archives.
“Opening with the magic of MIRKA feels a beautifully fitting way for the Jewish Museum of Australia to welcome visitors back after a long and challenging ten months of COVID-closure” said Jessica Bram, Director and CEO of Jewish Museum of Australia,
“This milestone exhibition and program, dedicated to the remarkable life and legacy of the extraordinary Mirka Mora, radiates with hope, love, joy and resilience. Our team couldn’t be more excited to gift this intimate and stunning experience to the city of Melbourne this Valentine’s Day.”
Taking advantage of the extra time afforded by lockdown, the Museum commissioned leading Australian audio conceptual artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey to create an intricate and encompassing soundscape that will allow visitors to be guided through the exhibition by Mirka’s own accounts and memories, in her own voice, while a building scale reproduction of her work is set to transform the museum façade.
A story of survival and migration, interspersed with a generous dose of family, art, food and love, Mirka Mora’s history is a profoundly affecting post-Holocaust Australian Jewish tale which, until now, has not been presented with such depth and scope.
Featuring more than 200 never-exhibited works from the private collections of the Mora family and Mirka’s studio and archives, alongside pieces from the Mirka collection acquired by the Heide Museum of Modern Art, MIRKA will offer the most comprehensive picture of the artist’s life and 70-year-long career, offering fresh insight into her creativity, and allowing audiences old and new to discover her life and artistry like never before.
“We, the family, are honoured and delighted to be collaborating with the Jewish Museum of Australia to launch MIRKA – a celebration of her life story and art,” said William Mora. “Melbourne’s enduring love for Mirka and her art is well-known and we believe this exhibition will give new insights into her world.”
“Mirka’s work embodies humanity and hope; her life of art shows her desire to embrace diversity and to be enriched by our differences.”
A joyful and optimistic honouring of a truly miraculous and marvellous life, MIRKA promises the most intimately detailed portrait of this cherished icon of Australian culture.
Jewish Museum of Australia, 26 Alma Road, St Kilda
Exhibition: 14 February – 19 December 2021
Entry fees apply
For more information, visit: www.jewishmuseum.com.au for details.
Image: Mirka Mora (2016) – courtesy of Jewish Museum of Australia