Alternative name: Sewing basket
Sewing box owned and used by Mirka Mora in her art studio in Richmond from the 1960s. The box lid and base edged with timber strip and there is a handle and white plastic hinge to act as a locking mechanism. The interior of the box and lid are lined with silver fabric. The box contains a variety of sewing materials.
This is one of a collection of artist's materials, sewing equipment, clothing and personal items relating to the life and work of iconic Melbourne artist Mirka Mora, sourced from her Richmond artist studio in 2019.
Mirka enjoyed collecting sewing boxes and implements, and she loved sewing, making soft sculpture dolls, and surrounding herself with beautiful fabrics. She also took her treasures to her art classes to inspire her students and offer them tactile inspiration. Mirka reflects in her book 'Love and Clutter': 'When I came to Australia I started to collect Victorian sewing boxes and sewing implements of all kinds: thimbles, crochet hooks, ivory and silver stilletoes, rare needles, fantastic scissors that looked like birds, green velvet boxes containing sewing sets. Sometimes I would take these treasures to my embroidery or doll classes to feed the desir in my students to collect beautiful tools, but most of them were happy just to look at the fine things in my sewing boxes.' ('Love and Clutter', 2003, p.24)
Woven cane basket with painted blue stripe around exterior of box and across the lid. White cane fasteners and hinges and handle at front. Box lining is a pale blue-green silk, and there is a brown velvet ribbon and a Bendigo Domestic Arts badge sewn into the lid. Clear plastic buttons hold the needle ribbon in place. Box originally contained several packets of buttons, a spool of fishing wire, a wooden crochet hook and other grey plastic sewing implements,
Statement of Historical Significance:
There are few names as synonymous with Melbourne's cultural and artistic life as Mirka Mora. Artist and café and restaurant owner, her larger than life personality and her very accessible and public art dominated Melbourne's cultural landscape for over 50 years. Mirka was a post World War II migrant and a leader in the formative years of Melbourne artistic and cultural urban development. Mirka embodied the spirit of bohemian Melbourne for decades and this diverse collection provides an entry point to appreciating the rich life of a complex, multi-faceted woman. The material represents a migrant, cultural and artistic life, revealing her artistic processes, influences and style,and brings the personal side of Mirka to life.
This collection also complements one of the migration collection's strongest sub-collections, the Immigration and Artistic Practice collection. This collection draws on artworks, materials, equipment, migration objects and oral histories to explore how Victorian migrant artist's adapt, develop and transform their artistic practice within a new social, cultural and artistic environment. It provides evidence of the richness provided to the documenting of migrant artist's lives, not just through their artworks, but through the materials showing how their practice evolved over time.
Type of item
Overall Dimensions - Closed
263 mm (Width), 163 mm (Depth), 100 mm (Height)