MONA Art Excursion

On Friday 10 March, 18 Year 11 and 12 VCE & IB Art, Studio Art, Visual Communication Design & Product Design Technology students were privileged enough to take a trip “overseas” with Mrs Waud and Mrs Amiet. Our destination was Hobart, Tasmania.

The Museum of Old and New Art is Australia’s largest private art gallery own by the eccentric David Walsh. The idea that one person owns all of this space, including items that adorn the grounds and gallery is overwhelming. Even if you don’t know much about art, but know what you like, you are sure to be amazed and intrigued by this collection. From a 2,000 year old mummy with its hidden contents revealed by modern MRI scans to a dissolving carpet, an interactive space full of polka dots, there are things that once you see, you cannot ‘un-see’.

On the Mona bus we crossed the picturesque River Derwent to see the much publicised and sometimes controversial collection. When we arrived we were greeted by our principal, Mr Brad Fry, who was able to share the experience with us for part of our day.

MONA is designed to be unconventional. Unlike any other museum or art gallery in the world, its purpose is to challenge the viewer, to provoke, inform, entertain and even offend, and it repeatedly rises to this challenge. There are no labels next to the art works at MONA, interactive iPod’s called O’s give you information about each work while plotting your underground journey to access later when you are back at home. Lying on the picturesque Derwent River MONA seeks to challenge the viewer, provoke and entertain the viewer, often offending the view. Needless to say, we were all speechless by the end of the long day!

Lighting is used for dramatic effect and the displays dare to be different. Sidney Nolan’s ‘Snake’ is the size of an Olympic swimming pool and central to the design of the museum. It took two years for the artist to complete and now has a wall that was made especially for it. If visitors leave more curious than when they arrived, then David Walsh can feel that he has succeeded. Overall it was an amazing experience, and definitely worth the 15 hour round trip. We all recommend taking a trip down to Tasmania and taking the opportunity to visit this spectacular art gallery!

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