It was brilliant to sit amongst Mirka's paintings and listen to her reminisce about various times in her life. She is an incredible inspiration, not only for her Art, but to live life to the full. The only time the smile evaporated and reluctance came across was when the curator mentioned her lucky escape from entering Aacuschwitz and the Germans, but then she beamed her smile across the room proclaiming how lucky she had been. I was left with the impression that she could have talked for hours, in her beautiful Parisienne accent about so many interesting times, and I for one would have happily sat and listened, as I'm sure would the rest of the visitors in the room.
We later moved on from the Gallery for tea, sandwiches and cakes, taking a leisurely stroll through the gardens.
Mirka took time with everyone and her personal charisma shone like a beacon.
Signing autographs and even impromtu drawings, whilst constantly entertaining everyone with her wicked sense of humour and infectious smile.
The painting of the rear glass windows at Heidi.
The afternoon light coming through the window is perfect to show off her work.
I love this picture of Mirka.....
A little information....
Madeleine 'Mirka' Zelik was born in Paris in 1928 to a Jewish Lithuanian father, Leon Zelik, and a Romanian Jewish mother, Celia 'Suzanne' Gelbein. In post-war Paris at the tender age of 17 Mirka met her future husband, Georges Mora. They soon married and their first son, Philippe was born in 1949. Two years later the young family emigrated to Australia where they became the centre of a flowering artistic and intellectual Melbourne. Mirka had early training in mime and drama but it is painting that has been her focus. She had two more sons but still managed to pursue a successful artistic career. She works in a range of media including drawing, painting, embroidery and doll-making, and has made numerous public artworks including mosaic murals at Flinders Street Station. In 1999 she had a major retrospective at the Heide Museum of Modern Art which was seen by 16,000 people. In 2002 she was made Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She lives in Melbourne alongside her son William and his family, and continues to paint daily
To find out more about Mirka and her amazing life...