Mirka Mora is one of Melbourne's best known and loved artists. Since the early 1950s when she and her husband Georges immigrated to Australia from France, she has contributed to Melbourne's transformation from quiet, provincial town to sophisticated, multicultural city. Her early training was in mime and drama, but painting was her focus by the time she reached Australia. Close friends of other committed artists and patrons, including John and Sunday Reed, Charles and Barbara Blackman, Barrett Reid, John Perceval, Laurence Hope, Arthur Boyd and Joy Hester, Mirka and Georges were instrumental in the re-establishment of the Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne from 1953. They also helped bring European-style dining to 1950s Melbourne, opening the Mirka Café in Exhibition Street, the Balzac in East Melbourne (the first Melbourne restaurant to receive a 10pm liquor licence) and finallyTolarno in St Kilda. Mirka's numerous public artworks including mosaic murals at Flinders Street Station and St Kilda Pier, and a painted tram, have helped enliven the city, and her bohemian style and joie de vivre have endeared her to Melburnians from all walks of life.
Mirka's fifty years of creative energy have resulted in a prolific output of work across a range of media - drawing, painting, embroidery, soft sculpture, mosaics and doll-making. Her colourful, sensuous iconography has emerged from the breadth of her interests and reading, her love of classical mythology, her desire to reclaim and make sense of childhood and familial relations, and her recognition of the power of sexual desire.