So, you may have heard me banging on about this place called MONA right? Well, I went, and it far surpassed my expectations on every level.
MONA is the Museum of Old and New Art and it’s in Hobart. It’s a privately owned museum/gallery that cost it’s owner David Walshe a reported 175million. The first exhibition is called “Monaism” and it runs until July this year.
On site is the museum, which is underground and the most incredible architectural space I’ve ever seen, as well as the Moorilla vineyard, Moo micro-brewery, a Wine Bar, restaurant, Mona Pavillion accomodation and an outdoor stage and lawns.
People are encouraged to arrive by ferry, which we did, and when you get to the purpose built jetty you have to walk up these really steep stairs cut into the rock face. None of the works in the museum have any signage, so when you enter (they only allow a certain number of people in at a time so as to explain the “O”( you are given a device called the “O”) . The “O” is basically an iPhone that when you touch the screen it locates your whereabouts in the space and tells you about the works in that area. You can also save this data and later view it as your personal map of where you went.
The space is dark and very dimly lit and it reminded me a lot of David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet”. I felt suitably uncomfortable and challenged as well as inspired and, I must admit, scared. My sense of uncertainty increased as I moved through the space and in the end we made our exit with a sense of relief to see sunlight and to take stock over a few wines!
I saw David Walshe on the lawn and had the briefest of chats, mainly to say “thanks” for creating the place, it is incredible, though I did tell him there were a few too many vagina’s perhaps (there is a whole wall of vagina’s cast in plaster). I also added we were going to buy some wine to which he replied “Good, I need the money”.
Here are some pics….