Final installment of my MONA write up! Last weekend we visited the museum which offers free entry for Tasmanian residents, $20 for non-residents ($15 concession). Flash photography is not permitted, so I did my best to take a few shots to give you an idea what it is like.
I can quite honestly say I was blown away by the museum, both by the variety of art and also by the space itself. A vast, maze like experience spanning 3 levels, the museum was designed by Australian architect Nonda Katsalidis and last year won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture.
We started from the bottom up, moving through the space with the aid of the iPod touch supplied. The device is equipped with sensory technology that locates the art work nearby and provides relevant information. One of the unusual functions on the iPods was a like/dislike button, which also told you what percentage of patrons liked/disliked the work. I love this. It is so rare to feel you have permission to actually dislike the art! I'm usually the person trying to quietly tell my friends I think something's awful, without attracting the ire of other patrons or Museum staff. I have been shushed more than once, I can assure you.
Scattered throughout the museum are comfortable chairs, couches and even bean bags, encouraging patrons to sit, relax and enjoy the art. There is also a bar, a cinema and a library, making it the most interactive Museum and art gallery I have ever visited.
The art itself is a diverse mix of contemporary and modern art and artifacts. My favourite piece was by Tasmanian artist Patrick Hall titled When My Heart Stops Beating. Commissioned by Walsh, the piece (pictured above) is comprised of 54 drawers each containing a short story and a recorded voice saying 'I love you'.
"The sort of idea is they're the echo of a human experience that might have been gone, there's the sort of the archive," Hall told ABC Hobart. "I hope they're moved by it."
I definitely lingered by this one the longest. A friend joked that it had been so long since someone told me they loved me I was using it as a substitute. It hasn't been that long. It is such a beautiful concept though, how magical would it be to have your won personal archive of experiences and loved ones?
Once you have found your way back into the light, you can enjoy a glass of Moorilla wine (from grapes grown on vines mere metres away) and a platter or tempting dessert in one of the cafes or restaurants. A beautiful day out.