“We believe things like art history and the individual artist’s intention are interesting and important—but only alongside other voices and approaches that remind us that art, after all, is made and consumed by real, complex people—whose motives mostly are obscure, even to themselves.” MONA Museum of Old and New Art
When talking about a trip to Hobart no doubt many will ask if you are going to visit MONA Museum of Old and New Art. Some will recommend it. Some will question where you are going to leave the kids, convinced it’s not suitable for such young little ones.
MONA – Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania was opened back in 2011 by David Walsh. It is the largest privately owned museum in Australia and is unlike any museum or art gallery that I have visited. It is also considered the gateway to Hobart, putting the city on the map internationally.
For those of you who are frequent flyers at art galleries and museums, you may find MONA Museum of Old and New Arta little overwhelming when you first arrive. There are no signs telling you what you are looking at and there doesn’t seem to be a rule around how artefacts and artworks will be exhibited. It is unlike any place you’ve ever visited previously. The architecture is sublime, but created in a way that I think has executed to lull you into a false sense of security before plunging you into a world of the obscure. At times you will fill completely irrational as your emotions take over.
Whilst many visitors arrive by ferry, we chose to drive as we were staying in North Hobart and it seemed easier. I recommend arriving early so you can find a park – just don’t park in God’s space. We walked up the pathway to what appeared, at first, to be a rather small museum. Oh skilled architects!
ExploringMONA Museum of Old and New Art is quite incredible. You never know what you are going to see next because around each corner there is something totally different to see. There’s no rhyme or reason to how the exhibits are set up, or at least, I couldn’t make sense of it but it didn’t trouble us at all. It’s crucial to pick up a the handheld technology piece on entry which will provide you with details of what you are looking at. Without it, you’re looking at intriguing pieces by unknown artists. Some of you may prefer that.
Despite knowing that children will visit the museum, there is no obvious (actually, I don’t think there is any) censorship throughoutMONA Museum of Old and New Art. I was somewhat aware that this could be a possibility on entry and asked at the ticket booth for areas which were quite sexually graphic to be highlighted. We visited while the “On Origin of Art” exhibition was on and were warned only of the pink room.
Censorship has never sat well with me so I thought we would walk through the museum and then frame clearly adult pieces so they were appropriate for the kids. We were warned about the pink room yet again just before entering it and I decided that perhaps on this occasion I should go in before the kids. I’m so glad I did. It was incredibly confronting and was something the kids shouldn’t be seeing, so heed the warnings you’re given on your visit.
Writing about MONA Museum of Old and New Art and provided a thorough detailed response of our visit is difficult. Being there is the only real way to experience it and any descriptions are likely to fabricate preconceived notions that aren’t accurate. For example, the poo machine has been explained to me again and again it resembled little of what my imagination had created. As such, a few photos have been included with little description. I want you to go, and you to tell me what you thought.
I’m going to put it out there and say that whilst Sunshine and I loved MONA, Striker and T weren’t so impressed and left to jump on the trampoline while us girls continued exploring. I should have figured because neither are real fans of art galleries – I usually visit with Sunshine. Just because we liked it and the boys didn’t doesn’t mean you will or won’t. I’ll leave that up to judge.
MONA Museum of Old and New Art
Hours: open 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. Closed Tuesdays and Christmas Day
Location: 655 Main Road Berriedale Tasmania 7011
Pricing: If you are Tasmanian or under 18, admission is free. For everyone else, it varies between $20–$28 (adult) and $15–$25 (concession) depending on the time of your visit. Children are free.
We self-funded this visit. All opinions are our own.