Saturday, 31 March 2012
There's a whole lot of beauty, inspiration, and surprise waiting for you if you haven't yet been to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart, Tasmania.
Where do I begin?
The location for one. Oh my goodness. MONA sits carved into a cliff face on the gorgeous Derwent River. You can arrive by ferry or car. I've heard coming via ferry is pretty special. I had a car so went that way. However, I parked about a kilometre away (accidentally) and walked in. That was pretty special in itself. You get to see glimpses of MONA sitting there on the edge of the cliff facing the water from various angles around a small cove.
That cement truck iron sculpture in the pics above captivated me. How extraordinary that someone could make something so mundane and ordinary so intricately beautiful! Something so bulky like a cement truck has been utterly transformed into this delicate sculpture.
Inside MONA was mind boggling to say the least. Exhibition pieces have been chosen deliberately to push the boundaries of peoples' expectations about art. There are a lot of surprises in stall. And I won't ruin them for you by telling you too much here. Let's just say you need to set aside at least half a day - one day to be there. It's massive. There's so much to see and experience. And the place is gorgeous so you might like to have lunch and a glass of wine and sit outside on the pink bean bags and look at the river while you're there.
I was especially moved by the pencil rubbings (pictured above) by Okabe. These were made by hand over a 9 year period of the Ujina Station train platform in Hiroshima. Eventually the train station was demolished to make way for a freeway but Okabe's rubbings remain as simple reminders of what was once there. You can read more about their background here. And here's a picture of Okabe with his work.
I'll be going back to MONA later in the year. My brother also loves the place so we thought we might go again together. There is no other art gallery like this in Australia. It's extraordinary on so many levels. So if you can, go!