Installation view of Silk tapestry, 2005. Image: Courtesy of William Mora Galleries and the Estate of Mirka Mora.

Exhibition review: MIRKA, Jewish Museum

An exhibition telling the vibrant story of Mirka Mora through her own voice.

MIRKA, the artist’s largest survey staged by the Jewish Museum of Australia, is more than an art exhibition; it’s scraps of life lovingly gathered in what makes Mirka Mora (1928 – 2018) one of the most beloved artists to this day.

‘Untitled (Tolarno Mural)’ (1966) makes for a theatrical opening with Mirka’s signatory vibrancy and doll motifs as visitors are guided into a room full of family memorabilia, ranging from childhood photos to collected teddies.

Segmented into interconnected spaces each with a coloured thematic, the exhibition continues in this style showcasing a breadth of artefacts that conjure stories, memories and aspirations. From the establishment of the Mirka Café in 1954 (shared in one of Mirka’s journal entries) to the meeting agenda for the Contemporary Art Society, the collection documents the struggle, persistence and innovations of George and Mirka Mora.

A show of this scale would be sure to include the lesser seen side of the artist, and MIRKA is no exception, featuring tapestries, patchwork, sketches, and later in the show, theatrical designs where Mirka let her imagination run wild.

Several large and significant paintings also make an appearance, including the charcoal diptych ‘Adam and Eve’ (c. 1967), ‘Admiring the Black Sun’ (1980), and ‘Piglets at Anlaby’ (1968-92), complete with a fabric installation that makes you feel like an adventurer in the Mirka jungle.

Read the article by Celina Lei on ArtsHub.