Soft psychedelia

Mike and O at Heide

We went out to Heide about a month ago, coincidentally on the day the Mirka Mora show opened at Heide II. I had mostly wanted to show Mike the building itself, its rough-hewn beauty, but wound up captivated by the work of Mora and her co-exhibitor in Heide III, Emily Floyd.

I've never known exactly how I've felt about Mora's work. To me it is so entwined with Melbourne in the early '90s, with trips to Southbank to get a gelato and visit Angel, with Ken Done T-shirts and ribbons and thick white stockings that I've never been able to see it with clean eyes. Possibly the fact that I associate her style with my childhood has made me think it's juvenile; walking through Heide II, I was struck with its intimacy, its folk rhythms and clever allusions. 

I was also taken with the call and response the two galleries took up; soft fabrics vs hard woods, streaky paint vs flat prints, figurative dreamscapes vs radically modern abstraction. To stand in the echo space between them was to be immersed in a softly psychedelic reimagining of the world and of 'women's work' within in.

As I get older I lose my grip of art history and find myself going back and back again to my first response, the emotional response. I'm sure that this is something that Clement Greenberg endorsed, but I may be making that up. Standing in the in-between, mediating quick visits to each gallery with whirlwind runs with Owen in the sculpture garden, I felt content, an anchor to which the whir and click of each artists intentions could loop themselves. There is value in being an anchor, I think.