MIRKA – A revelatory exploration of the astonishing life of Mirka Mora

Jewish Museum Of Australia
26 Alma Rd, St Kilda, Victoria
Opening December 2020

The Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica, in collaboration with William Mora Galleries, presents MIRKA – the most expansive survey of work by the late Mirka Mora (1928–2018) ever shown, and an intimate, previously unseen view into her rich and fascinating personal history.

Marking its first major showcase since Covid-19 lockdowns, the museum will re-emerge to illuminate the life and work of an artist whose seminal influence on Australia’s art and culture is undisputed.

Barbie speaks with exhibition curator, Elini Papavasileiou

The exhibition will transform the Jewish Museum of Australia into an immersive ‘Mirka-world’ that reflects the artist’s trademark mischievousness and 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. 

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 never-exhibited works from the private collections of the Mora family and Mirka’s studio and archives, alongside pieces from the Mirka collection recently acquired by the Heide Museum of Modern Art, MIRKA will offer the most comprehensive picture of the artist’s life and 70-year career, offering fresh insight into her creativity, and allowing audiences old and new to discover her life and artistry like never before.

Starting with her childhood in Paris and her family’s extraordinary escape and survival during the Nazi occupation of France, the exhibition then charts Mirka’s migration to Australia in 1947 with then-husband Georges Mora.

Arriving in Melbourne, the couple rapidly established themselves as a force in the city’s culinary culture and burgeoning arts scene via their businesses, Café Mirka in Exhibition Street, the legendary Tolarno in St Kilda, and Tolarno Galleries – one of Australia’s first commercial galleries.

Later years saw her art indelibly woven into the city’s identity through various murals and public art works including her design of one of Melbourne’s very first Art Trams in 1978, and a collaboration with Australian fashion house Gorman in 2016.

With many of her works held in the permanent collections of some of Australia’s most respected galleries, Mirka Mora’s legacy is certain to endure.

For further information visit www.jewishmuseum.com.au/