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MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) – A Tasmanian Delight

MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) – A Tasmanian Delight

You are not an art enthusiast? Looking at art is boring?

It may be, but at least here at this museum of art and antiquities, you can get drunk or race against technology.

Located on the river Derwent, the Museum of Old and New Art displays David Walsh’s affection for art. The subterranean bunker houses, art from ancient times to contemporary modern art. Australia’s largest private museum displays the diversity of the maker. It is also house to Moorilla winery, Source Restaurant and bars, and accommodation. The playground of art also has Moo Brew.

The building is an art in itself. Worked into three subterranean underground levels decorated with ancient era sandstone along the Cliffside. The four-story is a collection of the most bizarre sculptures and technology unimaginable.

The Collection

The museum’s founder, David Walsh often refers to the place as ‘Temple of Weird’. It is because nearly every piece of art in this museum is controversial or atypical. The peculiar atmosphere of this museum can take you on a ride. Once you are in, you can observe the unconventional art like a suicide bomber spelled in chocolate magic, 250-million old wall made of sandstone to realize of the evolution and disbelief. The most exciting and enthralling highlight of the museum is the ‘rain painting machine’ which with the help of computer-controlled nozzles, spells out a phrase just like a waterfall.

MONA water

As you start your tour of the museum, you enter the mirror entrance through the tennis court. The disgusting thing about the entrance is the MONA’s cloaca machine which mimics the act of digestion. Food is processed through six tanks and finally, a stinky heap is released. We call it “shit machine”. It is the most hated showcase in the entire gallery.

The museum houses around 1900 artworks on display from Walsh’s private collection. In their inaugural exhibition, the collection was called ‘Monanism’ which showcased Sidney Nolan’s Snake Mural. They have released the book with the name of ‘Monanism’ to talk about David’s purpose of building this great architecture.

The Monanism (collection) keeps on changing every time. David likes to bring in new experiences for the visitors, every time they visit.

Technology at its Best

It is not like any other museum where you walk in a row and read through the scripts about the art pieces. This is a modern and contemporary masterpiece blended with touch technological advancement.

The display at the museum is not in any chronological order. You can find a mix of antiques and modern art without any specific segregation. You would wonder where to read about the display as there are no labels. For this, the founder came up with an idea of using headphones and specific intelligence.

You are given an option of using the headphones or custom built-technology called ‘O’. This device is so smart that it senses where the holder is and it displays the information about the nearby masterpiece. There are various options available to the visitors in this device. They can go through the summary, the artist’s viewpoint or the ideas and interceptions.

Artists at Work

The museum is designed in a way so as to accommodate the structural artifacts from the great artists. These pieces are the core reason for Walsh’s idea of a museum. The gallery displays works of renowned artists across its three levels.

Gregory Barsamian is one of the favorite artists of David Walsh. His structure talks straight about the forms of cognition and to excel the language.

Sidney Nolan’s art comprises of a 46-meter long snake, a link between the mythical and contemporary.  Other structural elements include Anselm Kiefer, which shows shards of glass protruding out of the bookcase. Another notifying element is the chamber of Pausiris.

We are not going to disclose more. You need to take a visit to this art museum to calm your eyes.


Festivals and Exhibitions

MONA also runs a famous exhibition twice in a year. The summer festival is known as Mofo which is an eclectic mix of music and art.

Dark Mofo is the winter festival, which is organized in June. It celebrates the centuries-old winter rituals and celebrates the dark through music and drinks.

For the art lovers, there is an interesting ‘Eternity’ package which allows lifetime admission to the museum, but also give you a chance to post death ashes to the visitors. Isn’t it interesting?

Whatever ‘weird’ you can think of, is present here at Walsh’s masterpiece.

Most of the people visit MONA as a destination. It doesn’t matter as they are too engaged with art on entering.

And if you are not an art lover or don’t like the weirdest of the things, then you can relax with the best of martinis at the bar.