Mirka Mora – A French-born Australian Visual Artist & Cultural Figure

To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) we take a look back at the enduring legacy of artist Mirka Mora 

The French artist Mirka Mora (18 March 1928 – 27 August 2018) was, and remains to this day a beloved figure of the Victorian art scene. A woman of many talents, she made her mark across fashion, painting, literature and hospitality and embedded herself into Melbourne’s cultural landscape.  

After surviving the Holocaust, Mirka, her husband Georges, and her son Philippe moved to Melbourne in 1951 (Mirka and Georges would go on to have two others sons in Australia). Mirka chose to settle in Melbourne because she had read about the city as a child. Falling in love with Australia, Mirka often used its unique flora and fauna motifs in her works.  

Mirka header

Passing away in 2018, aged 90, Mirka was the first female artist to receive a Victorian state memorial – a testament to how much she was cherished by her community.  

Mirka had a big belief that creating and consuming art should be accessible for everyone and she loved to share her knowledge, as such the incredible Mirka held classes and workshops with CAE for over 23 years.  

Mirka 2

“One workshop the CAE organised had artists and craftspeople in a train stopping at different stations for the day. At Castlemaine station, I painted with three hundred people on several boards attached to the train. I had outlined some of my motifs for them to work with. People added something to the work right through the day. At night, when everybody had left and I was lucky enough to have bright moonlight, I reorganised the mural as best I could. It now hangs on the second floor of the CAE building in Flinders Street Melbourne.” 

Mirka Mora, ‘Wicked But Virtuous’ 2000, pg 172 


This collaborative artwork by Mirka still sits on Level Two of our Flinders Lane campus, please come and see it next time you are in the building.  

Mirka 1

‘Wicked But Virtuous’ by Mirka Mora is also available through CAE’s Book Groups; it can be found on page 16 of the Book Groups catalogue Dialogue