Saturday, April 26, 2014

TASMANIA, PART 2


...and then there was MONA...


wild and wacky, naughty and funny..


MONA creeps up on you like a sneaky urchin..
carved into the hillside on the banks of the Derwent River..



Enter via the rooftop at ground level, 
then plummet into the darkness of the subterranean depths..







Natural sandstone walls, carved from the earth..



the Museum of Old and New Art, the largest privately funded museum in Australia, developed by eccentric millionaire David Walsh opened in January 2011.  Set amid a glorious vineyard at the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale Peninsula in Hobart, the museum has been described by Walsh as a 'subversive adult Disneyland'.



Passionate collector Walsh previously presented an Antiquities Museum on the site, and has happily incorporated these fantastic pieces into MONA, alongside the modern and contemporary art he loves.



Ancient Cuneiform writing on clay cylinders..



Elegant modern timber bench seats for visitors..


Sidney Nolan 'Leda and the Swan'

My favourite piece, displayed outside on the roof -
 life-sized cement truck, a fantasy of lacy, gothic, rusted ironwork!





From some angles, you can't see the truck at all..

And, down by the river, I spotted the Chapel:



Much of the art in MONA cannot be successfully photographed in the darkened rooms, and indeed, Walsh's taste does rather run to the scatological, the blasphemous, the obscene, and to a bit of school-boy rudeness...not suitable for a G-rated blog...

But it was great fun, and attracts huge numbers of visitors.

When we emerged, a rainbow appeared over the river



Mr C captured me out on the point trying to get a good pic, and outdid me -
 as he often does.




And the antidote to all the naughtiness came on Easter Saturday, en route to historic Richmond, to look at Australia's oldest bridge -



built by convicts in the 1820s..



We passed a meadow touched by the yellow of the afternoon sun...



Dear Bach, we thought of you:







St. Mary's Cathedral, Hobart, Easter Sunday, 2014.



May your weekend be special, in every way..

XXXX










27 comments:

  1. Hello Patricia,

    What a very curious place MONARCH is, and how we should have enjoyed exploring its collections. This does seem to be quite the most eccentric of museums we have heard about but how good it is that there are still people in the world prepared to put their money into a public enterprise that can ignite an interest in the Arts.

    St Mary's Cathedral looks to be a very fine building indeed. How wonderful to be there for Easter Sunday.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance, Yes, I feel sure you would enjoy exploring this eccentric museum. I think the Tasmanian Government should be on their knees in the Cathedral giving thanks for such a gift to the Tourism industry ! It certainly puts Hobart on the map.

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  2. I loved the chapel and truck sculptures too ! It is an amazing place isn't it. I wish I had spent longer there...there is just so much to see. I think the whole visiting experience is remarkable too...did you take the MONA Roma from Hobart ? The places for coffee, drinks or just water, positioned at every level, the route through each floor...the places to sit and watch....and the fabulous exhibits...just wonderful. We met an English couple afterwards..( back having fish and chips on the Hobart harbour front) who found it too over the top... too noisy, too much light and dark extreme...but I just loved it.
    As for finding a bridge built by convicts... I would think it is pretty hard to find anything 19th century in Tasmania that wasnt built by convicts ! We were astounded by the building programme that must have been undertaken. I did get very interested in the female "factory" prison in Hobart...up near the brewery site. I read a book ( The Tin Ticket), about some of the women who ended up in Tasmania as convicts.... fascinating stuff. They had a hard time, but for many of them, they ended up having a much better life than they would have had back in the slums of Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and London.
    Your MONA photos are much better than mine... so it has been great to see them. Thanks Jx

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it too, Janice. Due to time constraints we drove to MONA, but next time we'll do the river route. I thought the architecture was absolutely brilliant, to the point it fascinated me more than the art! Yes, convict influence is all over in Tasmania, and it is wonderfully preserved, giving that picturesque quality we love. Brisbane was also a convict town, but almost nothing survives of those early days - sad.

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  3. Wow, what an amazing museum! I would love to visit and see some of that quirky art. Thank you for sharing. Interesting about the bridge too, there must have been a lot of colorful characters around there in the past.

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    1. Quirky is a good description, Jennifer, and it certainly livens up a rather conservative city. Tasmania was apparently regarded as the end of the earth, and the very worst convicts were send there. I think the past is well preserved, and interesting to visit.

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  4. This is so fascinating, Patricia, especially having previously seen Janice's post about her visit to Tasmania and to MONA. I'm not quite sure how I would react to a museum which pushes the boundaries like that. I think my reactions might be rather mixed as i tend to prefer mediaeval art to ultramodern. :-) But you obviously had a wonderful time and I love the glimpses you give us of Tasmania's landscape and historical structures - such a fine cathedral.

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    1. Know what you mean, Perpetua, and I also would go for the mediaeval art in preference, any day. However, I enjoy keeping a 'professional' eye on what is happening on the contemporary scene, and my reaction to any art which pushes my boundaries of taste or ethics is to not react, take a mental note, and keep going! The cathedral was very fine, and had a beautiful choir. Most enjoyable.

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  6. An incredible art gallery.
    I'm in awe of that beautiful sandstone wall!
    Amazing pieces to feast your critical eye on Patricia.
    But the wonderful St Mary's Cathedral does more for me - were you there for Easter Sunday Mass?
    The lovely bridge built by the convicts - it could have been transported from a valley in rural England.
    We ventured out to Port Arthur and some time later was the dreadful massacre - that gave me the woollies....
    That place was eerie - for me it was full of the ghosts of the poor souls imprisoned there for small acts committed in desperation or hunger.

    Shane x

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  7. Dear Shane, Yes, the sandstone wall, absolutely huge, was the star for me, and beat all the art! Yes, we were there for Mass, with the Archbishop, 'bells and smells' as the old saying goes: very nice. We went to Port Arthur in 1996, only about six months after the massacre, and it just happened to be the day they demolished the Broadarrow cafe where it all started. I was frankly freaking out!! What with that, plus the old ghosts, it was an eerie experience for me too, although I did love the beauty of the old buildings. We didn't go back this time, and I doubt we ever will.

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  8. Ooo I just caught up on your two Tasmania posts.. It all looks wonderful, including the sprinkling of snow..and MONA. Fabulous!
    BTW Port Arthur has always been spooky, even in the 70's when I went there on a school excursion...

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    1. Hello Val, yes, Tasmania was good. Port Arthur as a school excursion would have been entertaining, I imagine, school children having such vivid imaginations!

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  9. Oh, what perfect timing......I just took a bunch of pictures of some sheep and their sweet lambs today while I was out taking a walk with husband. There is an area in our town where the sheep graze, and it is such a sight to see them all.

    I liked the video on here. Nature is truly amazing. I smiled when I saw Mona........my sister's name is Mona. The Museum of Old and New Art is very cool. I love to browse through museums. It's such a treat.

    love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheep grazing do look sweet, gentle and picturesque - no wonder they are such a strong biblical image of all that is good. I love Bach's interpretation of 'Sheep safely grazing'. Maybe you should take your sister to Tasmania to visit her namesake Art Museum! xx

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  10. I've just caught up with all your posts from Easter, Patricia. How lovely to have been to Tasmania. It's been on my wish list for about fifteen years now - ever since we had some visitors in South Africa who were from Tasmania. It looks like the most amazing place.I'd like to go there even more after reading your posts and seeing your photos!

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    1. Hi Val, Tasmania is a little gem, tucked away there in the Southern Ocean, last point before Antarctica. I saw one of those Antarctic ships in the harbour. We always like to visit new places: I keep looking at anything which mentions Rotterdam these days :)

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  11. Hi there, just catching up! So lovely to see what you got up to on your travels, it looks as though TAS is a beautiful place indeed! Hope that you had a good weekend. xx

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    1. Hello Amy, and I hope things are improving for you. Tasmania is quite a lot like England, which is very charming indeed. Those poor convicts worked hard to recreate Georgian buildings, sweet bridges, and lots more, all carefully preserved. Nice weekend here, and a visit to the countryside to see Dad. xx

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  12. Now there is a museum I'd really like to visit. I like unusual art. I must admit my favorite photo of this group though is the bridge. There is something about bridges that draws my eye, especially old ones.

    Darla

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    1. I think you would enjoy MONA, Darla, it is full of the unusual and unexpected. Like you, I love the shape of a good bridge, and this one is beautiful. Lots of people were there taking photos - it was hard to catch a spot without them!

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  13. I am late with my comment, so sorry.
    The MONA and the great sandstone walls, so beautiful, true art.
    The cattle on the meadow, so calm and peaceful.
    Thank you for taking us on your tour : ).

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    1. Hello Mette, Yes, the interior of the MONA is the best piece of art there, I think. It is very cleverly done, and quite unusual. Glad you liked the tour!

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  14. Lovely post Patricia. That museum was amazing wasn't it and quite wacky too. Loved the bridge. I have a particular liking for arches, bridges, doors and windows. Enjoy your week.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thank you P, yes, the museum certainly is wacky, and I love an arched bridge too - they can be very elegant structures! xx

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  15. So much to see and enjoy! I love the bridge, too. What an amazing trip you had. I'm not sure I even knew Tasmania was a "real" place! Thanks for enlightening me. Hope your week is going well.

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    1. lol, as they say, Sanda. Smiling that Tasmania might not be real - I suppose the cartoons and the Tasmanian devils give that idea. And the fact it is almost at the bottom of the world!

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