ARARAT Regional Art Gallery has paid tribute to the late Mirka Mora a week after her death at the age of 90.
The popular Melbourne-based artist was one its best known and loved.
During her career she had more than 35 solo exhibitions – including three at the Ararat gallery.
The gallery said in a statement that it had had a long and affectionate association with Mora.
“She visited the gallery on several occasions for exhibition openings and events that included her artworks and her work is represented in the Ararat Gallery’s permanent collection,” it said.
In October of 1978 the gallery presented two Mora exhibitions simultaneously; ‘Mirka Mora – Embroideries’ and ‘Mirka Mora – Dolls’.
She attended the opening of the exhibitions to speak about the collections.
At the time she told the audience how she started making the dolls eight years prior.
“It started from a technique used long ago by the Old Masters,” she said.
“To help them with the shadows in their paintings, they used to make plaster models of figures in order to study contours and tones of light and dark.
“I needed this added dimension to help my painting, so I adopted the technique of cutting out drawings.
“This eventually led to dollmaking.”
She explained how would draw different images until one she came across one that “wanted to be a doll.”
“I practice drawing the figure until I’m ready to paint an outline onto fabric, whether a soft lawn or heavier canvas. My dressmaking experience comes in handy when I want to sew the doll up on a machine.
“Finally, I stuff the doll with acrylic or wool and paint it. I treat each doll as I would a canvas, using a different medium on each.”
During the exhibition she also presented a doll-making workshop at the Ararat High School.
I treat each doll as I would a canvas, using a different medium on each.Mirka Mora
Two years later the gallery acquired one of Mora’s dolls for its permanent collections.
The distinctive doll made of cotton fabric with plaka poster paint was purchased by the gallery with assistance from the Crafts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.
Morka’s touring retrospective celebrating 50 years of her work curated at Heide Museum of Art called ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread’ made it ways to the Ararat gallery in 1999-2000.