Sabine Cotte’s book Mirka Mora: A life making art, published by Thames and Hudson Australia, was launched at Readings Bookshop, St Kilda, on 10 July 2019, and is generating good reviews. The book stems from Sabine’s PhD on Mirka Mora’s materials and techniques, awarded in 2017 from the University of Melbourne, and rewritten for a general audience. Weaving conservation through the study of the artist and her processes, it concludes with three case studies of Mirka’s soft sculptures that show the variety of answers to unique conservation problems, and the benefit of collaborating with living artists to gain a deep understanding of the meaning of creative processes in their social and historical context. The book intends to highlight the breadth of the conservation profession, as well as establish the significance of the artist’s incredible variety of techniques.
According to the publisher:
‘Mirka Mora: A life making art’ provides a unique insight into one of Melbourne’s most beloved personalities. Revealing an unseen side of Mirka through both her materials and practice, this intimate portrait shares her complex and truly innovative techniques, which until now have not been studied.
Detailing the artist’s breadth of practice, her idiosyncratic processes and blend of traditional methods and modern creativity, this book shows how Mirka’s various modes of making art connected deep emotions, stories of displacement and loss with major movements of the twentieth century. From Holocaust survivor to Melbourne cultural icon, Mirka expressed the intensity of her personal life through artworks that embodied feminism, the craft movement as well as community art policies of the 1980s.
With privileged access to the artist and her studio, Sabine Cotte offers a new perspective on this extraordinary woman, illuminating Mirka’s significance as one of Australia’s most compelling, creative and prolific artists.