Vale Mirka Mora

28 August 2018

The Board and staff of Heide Museum of Modern Art are deeply saddened by the loss of the extraordinary artist and much loved Melbourne personality, Mirka Mora.

Mirka enjoyed a close and lasting friendship with Heide founders John and Sunday Reed, based on a mutual passion for art, literature and poetry. After the Reeds’ deaths in 1981 she continued to play a central role in the life of the museum and brought great joy and delight to Heide's visitors, along with staff past and present and all our volunteers, with her regular appearances and exhibitions.

Mirka arrived in Melbourne from Paris in 1951 with her husband Georges, and quickly became involved in the cultural and culinary scenes, making a transformative contribution to their adopted city. Their studio apartment at 9 Collins Street was a hub for Melbourne’s bohemian set, which transferred to Mirka Café in Exhibition Street and later the Moras’ other restaurants, Balzac and Tolarno. Over the decades Mirka developed her reputation as a talented and versatile artist with rare insight and sensitivity. Her distinctive imagery, characterised by fantastical creatures derived from various art historical and literary sources, as well as the artist’s own invention, has long captured the public imagination and offers a glimpse into Mirka’s enchanting private universe. Although we have lost Mirka her art endures, and leaves us with a rich and compelling portrait of her innermost self.

Merci dear Mirka for all the wonderful memories. Tu resteras toujours dans nos coeurs.

Mirka Mora in her Studio, Photograph: Fred Kroh 2014, © the artist