Miranda Skoczek is inspired by opulence. Not the kind you see in lifestyles of the rich and famous, though it might be. Nor the sort you find in the troves of the world’s museums and places of worship, though again it could be. But for Skoczek, opulence doesn’t equal luxury so much as joy and the pursuit of it – just as easily found in the slums of India during Holi, when the streets become such a riot of colour and adornment that the harsh living conditions are momentarily overshadowed.
Architecture, pop culture, fashion, religious iconography, antiquities, art history, traditional arts and crafts, music, travel, mysticism, talismans, interior design and customary rituals – these are just some of the influences that shape Skoczek’s practice. Her paintings are spacial and emotional responses to everything she consumes and surrounds herself with, informed by a theoretical understanding of colour and composition.
To what extent her surroundings impact her art practice was brought into strong relief during Melbourne’s protracted COVID-19 second wave. Skoczek continued to paint while juggling home-schooling as a single mother and, though challenging, it confirmed her home as an oasis – an extension of herself and identity, where her dreams are actualised and restored. This sense of happy containment has imbued her practice with deeper contemplations on time, space, change, transience, history and meaning, while simultaneously embracing contrasts as broad as those of the artist herself – materialistic yet spiritual, sometimes physical, sometimes soft and lyrical, intuitive and feminine, strong and self-assured.
Miranda Skoczek graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art – Painting from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004, and won the College’s painting prize the same year. She also holds a Diploma in Visual Art – Painting from Victoria University of Technology (2001) and a Diploma of Applied Arts and Graphic Design from Canberra Institute of Technology (1997). She has exhibited at Linden New Art and Heide Museum of Modern Art as well as McClelland Gallery and internationally in exhibitions in Copenhagen and Hong Kong. Her work is collected by private clients in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and in the UK.
Carrie McCarthy, December 2020