'Unselfconsciously playful, my work examines a process of art making devoid of stringent conceptualism. It is about the physical act of painting, exploring the role of play, intuition, improvisation and the potentiality of paint.
A strong desire for freedom results in paintings which differ greatly from one canvas to the next. They are at once awkward and right, clumsy and refined. I want the struggle, ghosts of previous layers, the out of control-ness married with intent, an affinity with folk art, Paul Klee and the pure magic of children’s art to be apparent. Totems, universal forms such as triangles, architectonic structures coupled with the fleshy, uncontrollable and controlled paint.
How far can I push the confines of the medium itself? Quite far it would seem, for whilst some sections are pristine, glossy and spare, others are scratched and carved into, creating a physical, almost sculptural presence. Engaging the senses is a preoccupation attained through the haptic quality of the surfaces, their sheer size intending to immerse and transport the viewer. To read them, one is required to study the various layers and subtleties closely. Distance then allows for a heady, invigorating rousing of moving through emphatic gesture and joyous and unexpected colour combinations.
To be delighted and seduced and to escape is intrinsic to my practice. Yet this is not to say I do not experience and welcome the tensions abstract painting presents – taking wrong turns, the beautiful and ugly, the tension between the ideal and real. I am always vacillating between doubt and joy, it is at times taxing, but oh so right!'
Miranda Skoczek holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Victoria College of Arts, University of Melbourne and a Diploma of Applied Arts and Graphic Design from the Canberra Institute of Technology. She has exhibited her paintings and collages internationally as well as throughout Australia in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
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
Born 1977, Melbourne
Lives and works in Melbourne
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Painting, Victorian College of the Arts
Diploma of Visual Art - Painting, Victoria University of Technology
Diploma of Applied Arts & Graphic Design, Canberra Institute of Technology
'Flowers Look Back at Me', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
‘Inner Worlds’, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne
‘Floating Moons, Dizzying Hues’, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne
'Spirit and Matter', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Better Get It In Your Soul', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
The Clayton Utz Art Partnership: curated by 3:33 Art Projects’, Clayton Utz, Melbourne (joint exhibition with Lottie Consalvo)
'Suggesting Icons', Nicholas Thomson Gallery, Melbourne
'Permission to Play', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Flashes Across The Field', Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne
'Rags, Rugs and Lion Heads', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Physical Thinking', Arthouse Gallery, Sydney
Fragments and Sunbeams’, NKN Gallery, Melbourne
'Crazy Patchwork', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Fragments and Fantasy', Arthouse Gallery, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney
There is more to Miranda Skoczek’s paintings than immediately meets the eye. They are built intuitively and in layers, from colours, patterns and objects that she absorbs in her immediate home environment – and all over the world. They are often abstract, sometimes with figurative elements; they focus on paint and colour, process and time, to create a space that takes us somewhere other, outside the material world. Inspiration comes from art and antiquities, folk art and contemporary design – and through obsessive consumption of images. Skoczek describes herself as “a sponge,” confessing to VAULT: “I have 95,000 photographs on my phone.”
The mystical is evident in Skoczek’s hope that her paintings work like amulets for those who acquire them. Protective elements aside, in their sensual textures and influences, so powerfully evoked, these paintings emerge as poignant and poetic visual essays written to the past and the present.
Copywriter and content specialist Elle McClure was asked by the team at Medium Rare Content agency to help produce content for the autumn 2021 issue of the David Jones magazine, JONES HOME. As well as compiling trend pages and writing copy across the issue, Elle interviewed Otis Hope Carey, Louise Olsen and Miranda Skoczek as part of profiles on the artists.
In celebration of Gorman’s decade-long collaboration with visual artists, Heide is presenting a two-week pop-up exhibition in the iconic modernist building, Heide II.
The exhibition will feature garments from a new range by Gorman created in conjunction with ten artists who have worked with the Australian clothing label since 2009: Rachel Castle, Megan Grant, Claire Johnson, Dana Kinter, Studio Elke, Rhys Lee, Ellie Malin, Mirka Mora, Liz Payne and Miranda Skoczek. The garments will be displayed alongside the artworks which inspired them.
The King’s Art Prize is a $20,000 acquisitive award presented to the best contemporary artwork created by an artist resident in Australia and represented by a commercial gallery, supporting both the artists and the fine arts industry. Entry is by invitation only and the finalists are selected by an appointed Art Prize panel.
Miranda Skoczek's exhibition 'Rag Rugs and Lion Heads' is featured on the Art Guide website. Miranda spoke with Louise Martin-Chew about her latest exhibition 'Rag Rugs and Lion Heads', her inspiration and the shift in her practice to looser, more expressive works:
Miranda Skoczek’s abstract paintings evoke old walls with layers of forms and shapes that emerge over time. In her studio, she might work simultaneously on nine canvases. Transferring from one to the other, she allows each oil layer to dry before repeatedly painting over it until jewel-like colours resonate and a spatial sensibility has been established within which the viewer may dwell. Skoczek told Art Guide Australia, “I don’t paint about social concerns. I create wholly immersive, beautiful pictures. They are places for escape and restoration: harmonious, calming pictures.”
Miranda's exhibition is at the gallery from 14 November until 5 December 2017.
Miranda Skoczek was a featured artist in the international group exhibition, The human experience, we are the ones doing works on canvas/Paintings XXXX at the Carlsberg Byens Galleri & Kunstsalon in Denmark. The exhibition was curated by Galina Munroe (Great Britain), Simon Ganshorn (Denmark) and Jordan Kerwick (Australia). The show featured 116 artists each working with abstraction through painting in their own distinct manner to promote diversity and highlight the possibility of medium and painting theory.
Miranda Skoczek presents her first collection of jewelled works at Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2017.
In DESHILADO, Miranda pays homage to the samplers created by stitchers in the early 16th Century. The collection is a three dimensional gathering of a myriad of interests and influences remixing materials and techniques, blurring the boundaries between objects, jewellery and art.
With a desire to connect ancient traditions with fashion, while acknowledging the archaeological importance of jewellery as artefact, Skoczek takes the opportunity to bring permanency to ornaments that have up to this point existed as abstract fragments in her paintings.
Miranda Skoczek is featured on The Design Files blog with a look at her move from an inner city two bedroom apartment, to a bucolic retreat set amongst the verdant landscape of the Dandenong Ranges. Miranda and her seven year old son Harper speak about the influence of nature on their lives and the impact a move to the country will have on her painting practice.
Miranda Skoczek is renowned for her engaging, energetic works and her spectacular use of colour. A fixture on the Australian art scene, her work is instantly recognisable for its layers of intuitive colour, pattern and motifs. Iconic Australian label Country Road thought her work was perfect for a collaboration with charity RedKite. Miranda has designed two tote bags and a t-shirt, with all proceeds from each sale going towards providing essential support to children and their families who are facing cancer.
Miranda Skoczek has collaborated with Gorman Clothing for their 2015 winter collection. In sync with the label’s aesthetic, Miranda’s artwork blends seamlessly into signature Gorman textures and styles. Her work is featured across all 53 pieces in the collection, with every print originating from five of her artworks.