Mim Kocher is a mixed media sculptures artist based in Healesville. She is opening up her studio to visitors and we were intrigued with her colourful and creative sculptures. We wanted to know more about what she does.
Mim, can you please tell us about your creative process?
I am often asked where I get my ideas for sculptures, and am always on the lookout for inspiration and often make notes. I find inspiration in so many places. In the daily news, print and TV, photos, research on the internet, in art galleries, art books and magazines, and in social issues being discussed, such as homelessness, the housing crisis and refugees.
My latest series of sculptures, City Rooftops, was inspired by a guided tour of Melbourne rooftops. I usually make sketches of a proposed sculpture, but mostly the finished work is quite different. My figures seem to evolve and develop into characters. I often write little stories to accompany them. Each sculpture has a story. I usually change the base in some way, by painting, engraving, adding other materials to it, or extending it with the clay.
The figures seem to evolve and develop into characters. I often write little stories to accompany them. Each sculpture has a story. I usually change the base in some way, by painting, engraving, adding other materials to it, or extending it with the clay.
What would you say is your most influential piece of work?
I’m proud of my sculpture, The Asylum Seeker and hope it may influence others too, to work to alleviate this world-wide tragic situation. The sculpture depicts an asylum seeker sitting in a boat on top of the Immigration building.
There are suitcases in the boat and the refugee looks very bewildered and sad. He has tears pouring down his face, and these spill out over the harsh grey and forbidding looking building. On the building, it says ‘no admittance’. The asylum seeker knows he must turn back. I feel very deeply about the way this sculpture brings home to me issues involving refugees.
Yarra Valley Arts’ first weekend of Open Studios will feature artists along the Maroondah Highway, such as Mim, from September 9-10, 10am to 5pm. Find out more, print and map and plan your visit at www.yarravalleyarts.org.au/yvaopenstudios