Warrnambool Art Gallery announces summer blockbuster: Lisa Gorman + Mirka Mora

Australian art and fashion history are celebrated in Warrnambool Art Gallery’s world premiere of contemporary design exhibition LISA GORMAN + MIRKA MORA: To breathe with the rhythm of the heart which will be on display in the coastal Victorian city of Warrnambool from 18 November 2023 to 17 March 2024.

Curated by Warrnambool Art Gallery Director Aaron Bradbrook and supported by the Victorian Government’s Regional Events Fund, the exhibition aligns the work of Warrnambool-born designer and visual artist Lisa Gorman and iconic Australian painter Mirka Mora – two pioneering and ground-breaking artists whose practices traverse generations and art form.

Lisa Gorman is known to many for her vibrant and collaborative designs for one of Australia’s most recognisable fashion labels Gorman which she founded in 1999 and remained as creative director before departing the business in 2021.

For this exclusive exhibition, Lisa Gorman draws from her love of colour and experience with textiles, specifically the process of weaving, to create a series of exquisite and illuminating acrylic sculptures, immersing visitors in a neon colour bomb of bouncing light and playful shapes.

Meeting Mirka Mora in 2016 for a Gorman collaboration, Lisa said: “The thing that struck me about Mirka Mora was how much her work resembled herself, both visually and spiritually. I felt that Mirka existed in this realm of all these mystical and wonderous beings and otherworldly scenes of nature that she was creating on canvas. She definitely lived in a magical dimension,”she said.

French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora (1928-2018) was a beloved inspiration in the Australian art and culinary scene after arriving in the country in 1951. In 2016, Mirka alongside Lisa Gorman launched their collaboration for the Gorman label, adorning fashion and art lovers in Mirka’s extraordinary artwork and Lisa’s deeply creative style and fashion form.

This highly collectable and sought after collaboration formed an ongoing friendship between the two artists and this exhibition celebrates the artists shared love of colour, illusion, other worldliness, and experimental modes of production, while highlighting the pivotal role fashion and textiles played in their daily lives.

Aaron Bradbrook, Director of Warrnambool Art Gallery and curator for this exhibition said this contemporary display of two of the most influential creative minds in this country is a celebration of Victorian art and design.

“The all-encompassing exhibition will take fashion and art lovers on a journey through collaborative practice, inspiration and mood covering the last 60 years. Warrnambool Art Gallery is fast becoming a destination for contemporary art and design, and we encourage visitors to explore our seaside city and immersive themselves in the region’s rich cultural history,” said Aaron.

“This vibrant exhibition will celebrate the work of two highly regarded female artists who have made a significant contribution to Victoria’s rich creative culture,” said Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.

“We’re delighted to support this exhibition, which will encourage visitors to Warrnambool and southwest Victoria, boosting local businesses and supporting local jobs.”

LISA GORMAN + MIRKA MORA features select garments from their iconic 2016 and 2018 collaborations, together with Mirka’s rarely exhibited tapestries and neon ink works from the 1980s, renowned hypofictional doll-like creatures and beloved soft sculptures, works on paper and never-before-seen paintings directly from the Estate of Mirka Mora.

Alongside these magnificent works will be the unveiling of a large-scale, site-specific sculptural installation by Lisa Gorman, drawing inspiration from the two fundamental components of weaving, the warp and weft.

LISA GORMAN + MIRKA MORA is designed by Studio Bright, and includes works drawn from the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Estate of Mirka Mora and private collections. The exhibition will be supported by a limited-edition book designed by Artlink and published by the Warrnmabool Art Gallery, alongside a unique Third Drawer Down range of Mirka inspired product for sale, celebrating Melbourne design and influence.

LISA GORMAN + MIRKA MORA: To breathe with the rhythm of the heart
Warrnambool Art Gallery, 26 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
Exhibition: 18 November 2023 to 17 March 2024
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: www.thewag.com.au for details.

Image: Lisa Gorman. Installation View, 2023. Courtesy Lisa Gorman – photo by © Ben Glezer