The exhibition celebrating the life and works of Mirka Mora is finally opening in Melbourne this month
02.02.2021

The exhibition celebrating the life and works of Mirka Mora is finally opening in Melbourne this month

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.

Marking its first major showcase since the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Jewish Museum of Australia will present MIRKA on February 14 2021 (previously slated for December 2020), an exhibition exploring the works and personal history of the late Mirka Mora. The most expansive survey of her work ever, MIRKA will feature previously unseen pieces to highlight her fascinating life and seminal influence on Australia’s art scene.

The key takeaways

  • MIRKA opens on Sunday, February 14, 2021
  • 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
  • MIRKA will offer the most comprehensive picture of the artist’s life and 70-year-long career

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With the original 2020 opening pushed back due to Covid-19 restrictions, the exhibition will transform the Jewish Museum into an immersive ‘Mirka-world’, showcasing letters, sketchbooks, diaries and interviews from the Jewish Holocaust Centre archives to tell her incredible story. Mora’s family have also lent the museum never before exhibited works from her studio and private collection to help provide a comprehensive look at her 70-year strong career as an artist.

Migrating to Australia from Paris in 1947 after escaping Nazi-occupied France, Mora quickly found her place within Melbourne’s art scene. In her later years, her work became woven into the city’s identity through various murals and public artworks such as her design on one of Melbourne’s very first Art Trams in 1978.

“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.

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Since closing, we’ve been sending you weekly #LoveLetters to inspire hope & resilience. In this, our last dispatch, we are enormously excited to present you with the ultimate gift as we emerge from this unprecedented time: a celebration of the iconic artist Mirka Mora (1928–2018) opening in December 2020.⠀ ⠀ In partnership with @WMoraGalleries & supported by @HeideMoma, our exhibition will showcase never-before-seen treasures from Mora’s archive & studio, as well as the recently acquired #MirkaforMelbourne collection. ⠀ ⠀ A window into her early years in Paris, survival of the Holocaust, migration to Australia & legacy as a much-loved artist & mother of cosmopolitan Melbourne, MIRKA will fill you up with love for art, family, food & our great city.⠀ ⠀ Mora’s son William once said: ‘Mirka belonged to everyone.’ We can’t wait to share her story & your stories once back at Alma Road, prepare to immerse yourself in #mirkamagic!⠀ Learn more at the links in bio @MildredandDuck #jewmu #jewishmuseum #mirka #mirkamora #art #australia #museumsathome #togetherapart #weilluminate

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MIRKA opens on Sunday, February 14 at The Jewish Museum of Australia. For more information, visit the museum website.