Wicked but Virtuous: My Life
Few artists in Australia are held in such affectionate esteem as Mirka Mora. Even fewer have had such an amazing life. Narrowly avoiding Auschwitz during the Second World War, she and her husband Georges settled in Melbourne, where their landmark cafe-restaurants became a magnet for artists, writers and intellectuals - a slice of Paris's Left Bank in an otherwise staid and provincial city. Both were also pivotal in the establishment of the acclaimed Museum of Modern Art at Heide. No conventional autobiography, Wicked but Virtuousis a delightfully eccentric account of a life lived to the utmost. It celebrates the highs and lows of Mirka's bohemian existence, her work, lovers, family, and the rich array of characters who were drawn into her world by her wisdom, generosity and outrageousness. Written with great passion, this book is a unique insight into the way an artist works and the way in which life feeds art.
Mirka Mora was born in Paris in 1928 and moved to Melbourne in 1951, where she soon made a name for herself in what was then a very male-dominated art world. She uses a wide range of media and her work features strongly in the permanent collection of Melbourne's Museum of Modern Art at Heide. For many years she has conducted workshops in painting, soft sculpture and mosaics, where countless Australians have learned from her unique approach to teaching art. In 2002 Mirka Mora was made an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication. She lives in a studio in Richmond.